Decision may be delayed on Abernathy’s request

City and State Digest
The Sentinel-Record 6-28-1979

The Civil Service Commission may not vote today on whether to lift the two-year suspension of city policeman Lt. Thurman Abernathy.

Commission Chairman Joe Poe said Wednesday commissioners had not received documents confirming reports that a Malvern grand jury voted recently not to indict Abernathy on first-degree murder charges. The meeting will be held at 7 a.m. at the police station.

Abernathy was charged two years ago with the death of Linda Edwards, a Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy.

During a subsequent preliminary hearing, Abernathy’s attorney objected to portions of a key prosecution witness’ testimony and the Arkansas Supreme Court later upheld the lawyers contention.

The case was then sent to the grand jury which returned a “no true bill.”

Poe said commissioners will not take up Abernathy’s request for reinstatement until they are notified officially of the grand jury’s decision.

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