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TRANSCRIPTION ERROR: Goof Changes Sentence

DESHIELDS ARRESTED ON HOME INVASION CHARGES AFTER ‘PAROLE’ by Bob Caudle | December 22, 2011 at 5:34 a.m.
Cody DeShields

— A Benton County man who police said took part in a home invasion, assorted burglaries and the beating of two men should have been in prison when the crimes occurred, authorities said.

Cody DeShields, 22, of 13A Holly Drive in Bentonville, was sentenced June 2 as an habitual offender to 36 years in prison for residential burglary, according to records. Due to a transcription error, DeShields’ paperwork showed he was sentenced to prison time of only 36 months.

“That’s just great,” said Paul Whitehorn, 34, of Rogers, the victim of the home invasion in which police said DeShields took part.

Whitehorn said he had just ejected tenants from a duplex and was watching a ball game while making sure the people did not return when three men burst in.

“I didn’t know them,” Whitehorn said Wednesday. “I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t really see much of the kid. He was running through the place stealing things.”

Officers were called to 628 S. 21st St. about 12:19 a.m. Dec. 1 for a report of a home invasion and battery, according to probable cause affidavits.

Police said Whitehorn told officers he was beaten by three men. Whitehorn said the men hit him with a hatchet, held a knife to his throat, hit him with their fists and feet, and broke a guitar over his head.

Whitehorn was treated for injuries at Mercy Medical Center in Rogers.

Police said DeShields, Justin Ronald Eoff and Chadwick Davis were the three men who attacked Whitehorn.

Police said they also believe the trio grabbed a man from behind, knocked him unconscious, stole his vehicle and burglarized another house, also on Dec. 1.

DeShields was sentenced on June 2 and paroled to the Arkansas Department of Community Correction on Oct. 24, according to paperwork from the Benton County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

AT A GLANCE

Suspects’ Status

• Chadwick Davis, 26, of 403 S.E. F St. in Bentonville was in the Benton County Jail on Wednesday in connection with aggravated residential burglary, two counts of aggravated robbery, first-degree battery, delivery of a controlled substance, engaging in violent criminal group activity, residential burglary, two counts of theft of property and misdemeanor contempt. Davis is being held on a $100,215 bond.

• Justin Ronald Eoff, 30, of 1961 S. 18th St. in Rogers was in jail in connection with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, aggravated residential burglary, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of first-degree battery, two counts of theft of property, engaging in violent criminal group activity, residential burglary and parole violation. Eoff is being held on a $150,000 bond.

• Cody DeShields, 22, of 13A Holly Drive in Bentonville was in jail in connection with aggravated residential burglary, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of first-degree battery, engaging in violent criminal group activity, two counts of theft of property and revocation of a suspended sentence or probation. DeShields has no bond set.

Source: Staff Report

The Department of Community Correction oversees prisoners released from the Arkansas Department of Correction on parole.

Brandon Carter, the deputy prosecutor in DeShields’ case, said the error occurred when an employee of Circuit Judge Robin Green made a typographical error.

“The judge had an employee with the court, who no longer works there, that instead of 36 years wrote 36 months,” Carter explained. “In fairness to her, she did thousands of these a year and this is the first time this has happened. It goes out handwritten from our office. We have since gone back to court, and the judge amended the sentence to the correct one.”

Green said it would not be appropriate for her to comment because DeShields still has appearances to make in her court.

Dina Tyler, public information officer for the Department of Correction, said officials looked at the bottom line of DeShields’ commitment.

“It says three years for residential burglary.” Tyler said. “Sometimes, they don’t serve that much time for a residential burglary. If it had been first-degree murder and he’d been sentenced to three years, that would have been different.”

Carter disagreed.

“The DOC should have caught that,” Carter said. “It’s below the minimum sentence for residential burglary, which is five years. They’re kind of the last line of defense, but they didn’t catch this one.”

Carter said now that the mistake has been corrected, DeShields gets put on the list to go back to prison.

“Then, we’ll prosecute him on the new charges,” Carter said. “His arraignment on the new charges is Jan. 17. In reality, he’s supposed to go back to prison, but he may still be on the waiting list by the time we get to trial.”

Tyler said anytime people fill out forms there will be mistakes.

“The best thing you can do is find it and fix it and it sounds like that what they’ve done,” Tyler said.

Print Headline: TRANSCRIPTION ERROR: Goof Changes Sentence

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