Spencer Willems, Arkansas Online

Spencer Willems

Arkansas Online

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Past articles by Spencer:

Panel accuses judge of lenient rulings for sexual favors, other violations

A Cross County district judge was accused by a state disciplinary panel Tuesday of multiple violations of the judicial code involving a wide range of offenses, including lenient rulings for sexual favors from younger male offenders, possessing child pornography and verbal abuse of people in his courtroom. → Read More

Legislator joins suit to block liquor store

A state legislator and her husband have joined forces with a Saline County day care center in a legal effort to revoke a state permit issued to a new East End liquor store. → Read More

Battery charge against judge dismissed

A Cabot judge on suspension no longer faces a criminal charge stemming from allegations that he grabbed his girlfriend's throat in August. → Read More

Cellphone findings in '12 case rightfully used, justices rule

A gunman's incriminating text messages were rightfully subject to a search by law enforcement officers in a 2012 murder case, the state's top court has ruled. → Read More

Ex-dean: State lags in giving legal aid

A former law school dean Tuesday urged lawmakers to find funding to pay for attorneys in civil courts to represent Arkansans at or below the poverty level. → Read More

Justices stay 8 executions; today's 2 off

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Tuesday halted the executions of eight inmates -- including two scheduled for today -- until their challenge of the state's execution law can be resolved in a lower court. → Read More

Executioners' drug expiring in 8 months

With one of the state's lethal-injection drugs set to expire in June, Arkansas prison officials have no other known means of acquiring more drugs to carry out executions beyond that deadline, according to recent court filings. → Read More

Family: UAMS had role in error

The parents of a child who survived a botched brain surgery at Arkansas Children's Hospital in 2004 asked the state Claims Commission on Wednesday to award them money, arguing that the state is partially responsible for the medical malpractice. → Read More

Rethink abortion decisions, AG urges

The Arkansas attorney general's office has formally submitted arguments to the nation's highest court that say the state's 12-week abortion ban is constitutional and that the court should revisit its decision in Roe v. Wade. → Read More

Advocates fear 'chill' if addict mother's conviction is upheld

An appeal pending before the Arkansas Supreme Court of a 20-year prison sentence for a woman who exposed her unborn child to methamphetamine has drawn concern from health care experts as well as advocates for women and families. → Read More

Conviction in '12 slaying of Mena man, 80, upheld

A 20-year-old Polk County woman sentenced to life in prison in the slaying of an 80-year-old Mena man lost her appeal before the Arkansas Supreme Court. → Read More

Justices hear woman's case of baby born on meth

An attorney for a De Queen woman serving a prison sentence for giving birth to a baby with drugs in his system told the Arkansas Supreme Court that the law used in the woman's conviction did not apply to her, and not reversing her conviction would result in "absurd consequences." → Read More

Clinton touts state to LR crowd

Former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton played to her home court advantage Monday by bragging to a packed house in Little Rock on Arkansas' approach to improving access to health care. → Read More

Ceremony at Capitol recognizes past POWs

The Capitol rotunda was filled Friday morning to honor two Arkansans, one posthumously, who were taken prisoner while fighting overseas more than a half-century ago. → Read More

State 1 of just 7 to ban re-homing

Arkansas is one of a handful of states to enact laws criminalizing the "re-homing" of adoptive children, a practice that is pervasive, but difficult to track, according to federal officials. → Read More

Board: Nuptials ruling is proper

The Arkansas Supreme Court justices accused of intentionally delaying a ruling in the challenge to the state's gay-marriage case have been cleared of any wrongdoing by a disciplinary board. → Read More

Prisoner's lost Reeboks his own fault, legislative panel rules

An inmate seeking a new pair of sneakers was one of several state prisoners to have his request shot down by lawmakers during their review of claims made against the state. → Read More

Dates to die set for 8 inmates

After nearly a decade since an Arkansas inmate was put to death, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday announced the execution dates for eight. → Read More

Request to install goat-demon statue at Capitol now official

The out-of-state group looking to place a giant goat-demon statue on the state Capitol grounds officially submitted its request with the secretary of state's office Tuesday. → Read More

Filmmakers find state welcoming

Tax credits, a welcoming governor, and the Bible Belt location and atmosphere all made Arkansas' capital an attractive place to shoot a faith-based motion picture, the filmmakers say. → Read More