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Convicted killer arrested on drug charges

by Tracy Neal | February 20, 2021 at 7:34 a.m.
Ricky Crisp

BENTONVILLE -- A man convicted in the murder of two children was arrested Wednesday in connection with drug charges after deputies found methamphetamine with a child nearby, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Friday.

Ricky Crisp, 45, of Garfield was released Friday on $50,000 bond from the Benton County Jail. He was arrested in connection with methamphetamine manufacture, possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and exposing a child to chemical substance or meth.

The investigation began Wednesday after deputies responded to a death investigation at 19415 U.S. 62 in Garfield, according to the affidavit.

A woman was dead in a camper trailer on the property, according to the affidavit. Benton County Coroner Daniel Oxford identified the woman as Tina Crisp, 45. Oxford said the death is under investigation and he's awaiting toxicology results.

Gary Crisp, who owns the trailer, told deputies his son's wife and her son live in the trailer, according to the affidavit.

Ricky Crisp was at the scene and at first denied living in the trailer, the affidavit states. He later told deputies he also lived in the trailer and said he lied because he wasn't authorized to live at the location by his probation officer, according to the affidavit.

He said a pipe that tested positive for meth was his and he had been using it daily to smoke meth, according to the affidavit.

Crisp said his son, who has Down syndrome and isn't mobile or verbal, was sitting on the couch near a one-pot meth lab while his mother was dying, according to the affidavit.

Deputies found two plastic bottles used to make meth and found meth in a wood box in the trailer, according to the affidavit.

Crisp was convicted in 1998 of two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of his 16-month-old daughter, Vicky Crisp, and her 4-month-old cousin, Sidney Pippen, according to records from Benton County Circuit Court.

The two girls died April 25, 1998, from heat exhaustion and dehydration after they were left in an unventilated car for several hours, according to reports. The car was parked along a dirt road northeast of Bentonville while Crisp and Justin Griffith searched a nearby cave and the surrounding area for mushrooms.

Crisp was sentenced to 14 years in prison March 25, 1999, and was released on parole in December 2002.

Griffith pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the girls' deaths and was placed on 10 years of probation. He was later sentenced to six years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. Griffith was released on parole in 2002.

Crisp's arraignment is scheduled for March 29 in Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green's courtroom.

Tracy M. Neal can be reached by email at [email protected] or Twitter @NWATracy.

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