Arkansas man jailed in deaths of 3 people, including deputy


DARDANELLE, Ark. (AP) – A man faces capital murder charges in the killing of three people, including a sheriff’s deputy, and after holding a woman hostage during a five-hour standoff with police in rural western Arkansas.

James Arthur Bowden, 42, surrendered Thursday afternoon at a house near Dardanelle, Arkansas State Police said in a statement. Dardanelle is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Little Rock.

Bowden is suspected in the killing of Yell County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin C. Mainhart on Thursday morning. Mainhart was responding to a call about a disturbance at the home near Dardanelle when he spotted a car associated with that address and stopped the vehicle. During that traffic stop, Mainhart, 46, was fatally wounded. A passing motorist notified law enforcement, state police said.

Investigators haven’t released the names or ages of the female victims, including the woman who was held hostage, nor said how the two others were killed. Their bodies were found in the yard.

Bowden released the hostage about 30 minutes before he gave himself up to law enforcement.

Arkansas state police Director Bill Bryant said Bowden faces three counts of capital murder. Police initially gave a different age and middle name for Bowden.

In an interview with KATV, a man identifying himself as the suspect’s father, James Bowden Sr., said the police were originally called to the home because his son and his son’s girlfriend had been arguing and that the woman who had been held hostage was the girlfriend.

Mainhart was an officer in Yell County for five years and had previously worked for the West Memphis Police Department for more than twenty years, state police said in the news release.

“He was a leader not only within the department, but the community of Yell County as well. He was very respected,” Yell County Sheriff Bill Gilkey said.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge expressed their condolences to the deputy’s family and praised his decades in law enforcement.

Mainhart’s death came on the same day as the 36th annual memorial to honor fallen officers at the Arkansas state Capitol.

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