Wednesday, August 17, 2016

On Day 3, Naramore jury hears account of events leading up to discovery of dead child

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 11:57 AM

click to enlarge naramore.jpg

The prosecution is completing its case this morning in the trial of Circuit Judge Wade Naramore of Hot Springs on a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge in the death of his 18-month-old son, Thomas, last summer. He was forgotten in his car seat in his father's car on a hot July day and died from the heat.

Developments so far include the recounting of an interview of Naramore by Hot Springs police that revealed unhappiness by the Naramores over the slowness of the investigation and a suggestion by police that he was to blame for delays. There was also apparent unhappiness about police questions. Rumors were rampant after the death that Naramore had forgotten his son while he was somewhere questionable other than work. The police investigation didn't bear that out. The evidence indicated Narmore took his son to day care most days, as he had intended to do this day but got mentally distracted and left him in the car outside the courthouse. Marine Glisovic of KATV gave this account on Twitter of Naramore's account to police in an interview about what happened after his morning at work:

Naramore: not much on the docket that day, left work around noon. Wanted to buy things for his 5th wedding anniversary. 

Went to a meat market, Kroger, liquor store. Had lunch at some cafe in town. Then went home.  Said he put bags in passenger seat. 

Went home, got a swim bag ready to take his son swimming at a pool nearby. Called mother-in-law to say I'll pick up Thomas. 

Naramore: left home, to pick up son from daycare. Then heard what he thought was a leg hitting the seat. Stopped and saw it was Thomas.
MEDIA UPDATE: It appears that Glisovic's updates Tuesday prompted a remark to her by Drew Petrimoulx of our news partner KARK and words ensued. The judge has said no use of cellphones is allowed in courtroom. Things have been resolved, according to this Democrat-Gazette account.

The defense argued against introduction of further photographs. At least one juror declined to look at a photo of the dead child yesterday. Judge John Langston also denied a defense motion to gag prosecutor Tom Young because he'd explained to a reporter yesterday that using the photo of the child made the case "real." The defense sees use of photos as a play on emotion.

The defense case should begin today. No word yet if Naramore will testify. Pre-trial filings indicated an expert in hot car deaths will testify. 

I'm glad I'm not a juror in this case. Negligence, as defined by law, seems to have occurred. But prosecutors have discretion. Some similar cases are not prosecuted. Jurors in these cases sometimes conclude that sufficient punishment has occurred in culpability for the loss of a beloved child. But we heard from the jury pool and comments over the months a belief on the part of some that Naramore is getting special treatment because he's a judge. 

The prosecution certainly hasn't treated Naramore with kid gloves. From my vantage point, I'd say they've perhaps been TOO accusatory. It is always easy (and perilous) to sideline quarterback based on press accounts, but it seems from here that a prosecutor in such a case would want to demonstrate sympathy for a family's loss while gently but firmly calling for following the law, particularly with a judge as defendant. Such a prosecutorial approach might  include a concluding call for conviction, but no additional punishment, for example. Just a thought.

Meanwhile, I'm still awaiting answers to questions I put to Scott Ellington, the Jonesboro prosecuting attorney who was appointed special prosecutor in this case when the local prosecutor recused because Naramore was a local judge. Deputies of Ellington, Gina Knight from Blytheville and Young from his Jonesboro office, have been prosecuting the case, not Ellington. He'd also said  his deputy Charles Finkenbinder would be joining Young in prosecuting the case with him. Knight apparently replace Finkenbinder. I was curious about that, too.

UPDATE: From Ellington:

I have six counties and have a deputy that is away on assignment of the National Guard. I am covering that docket.

Finkenbinder was on the case. However, we had another deputy leave from the Jonesboro office to get married and move to LR. He somewhat overwhelmed as he absorbed that extra workload.

Tags: , , ,


Speaking of...


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • North Little Rock defends the Jerry Jones gift to cops, but ...

    North Little Rock has filed its formal defense of the expensive gift of an outing to a Dallas Cowboy football game to North Little Rock cops. But questions remain.
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • Pork barrel included more than $40,000 for ozone therapy shipped from NWA to Benton

    Blogger Russ Racop uncovers another curious bit of spending of the pork barrel money known as the General Improvement Fund: Shipment of more than $40,000 from Northwest Arkansas legislators' allotment to a little-known outfit in Saline County that promotes an alternative medicine known as ozone therapy. Familiar legislative names were involved.
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • The highs and lows of Arkansas's observance of a joint King-Lee holiday

    It's a state holiday today to observe the birthdays of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee, the general who led the secessionist states' fight to preserve slavery. From the files of history, King's famous speech and the segregationist roots of the Lee Holiday observance in Arkansas.
    • Jan 16, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • UPDATE: Retired Arkansas Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe dies at 81

    Townsend Durant Wolfe, III, retired director and chief curator of the Arkansas Arts Center, has died at 81.
  • Subpoenas identify names of federal interest in kickback probe

    The Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District today provided me with the subpoena it received from federal investigators in a probe that led to former Republican Rep. Micah Neal's guilty plea to taking kickbacks from money he guided to a nonprofit agency and a private college in Springdale, apparently Ecclesia College.
  • Human Services says it's eliminated Medicaid application backlog

    The state Human Services Department has informed Gov. Asa Hutchinson that it has all but eliminated a backlog in applications for Medicaid coverage.
  • Praising Asa

    Let us now praise the governor for a starkly moderate record, at least in comparison with other red-state executives.
  • Glass houses

    Having gotten a deep security briefing and probably a confidential glimpse of our own vast cyberspying operation, Donald Trump is no longer pretty sure that the Kremlin didn't hack Democratic computers or employ other tactics to help his election.

Visit Arkansas

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Indian Rock House at Fairfield Bay

Winter is the perfect time to explore the natural stone shelters where native Arkansans once lived

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation