Suspension lift expected today in Abernathy case

City and State Digest
The Sentinel-Record 7-17-1979

The Hot Springs Civil Service Commission probably will lift the two-year suspension of former police Lt. Thurman Abernathy, when it meets at noon today at the Holiday Inn East, 1125 East Grand.

Commission Chairman Joe Poe said the commission’s attorney has received written word from Malvern officials which verify published reports a Hot Spring grand jury recently declined to indict Abernathy on first-degree murder charges.

Abernathy was suspended without pay when he was arrested in June of 1977 in connection with the death of Linda Edwards, a Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy.

The woman’s body was discovered in February 1977 in a wooded area in Hot Spring County some six months after she was reported missing.

Abernathy was undergoing a preliminary hearing on the murder charge when his attorney objected to certain portions of a key prosecution witness’ testimony.

The issue was taken to the state Supreme Court which held in favor of the defense. The case was then taken before the grand jury.

Poe said he also believes the proposed new rules and regulations for the Hot Springs police and fire departments will be taken up by the commission.

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