Interim county prosecutor is named

BENTONVILLE — Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has appointed Joshua Robinson to serve through next year as interim Benton County prosecuting attorney.

Sanders made the appointment Monday after Nathan Smith resigned from the office.

“I’m grateful to the governor for her vote of confidence,” Robinson said. “I am eager to keep the high standards of justice and integrity that Nathan Smith has maintained throughout his time as prosecuting attorney. I will lead this office in the continuing effort to stand for victims and ensure a safe community for Benton County citizens.” Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren swore in Robinson while Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green swore in some of the deputy prosecutors.

Robinson, 44, of Bella Vista was senior trial attorney for the office.

He earned his law degree from Tulane University of Law School in New Orleans. He started working as a deputy prosecutor in 2015. He was division chief before becoming a senior deputy prosecutor.

Robinson is currently involved in Zachary Holly’s hearing seeking to overturn his death conviction for killing 6-year-old Jersey Bridge-man in 2012. Holly is claiming his attorneys were ineffective at his trial.

Robinson is also the lead prosecutor on the case involving Shawna Cash, who is accused of killing Pea Ridge police officer Kevin Apple in 2021. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Smith announced Oct. 9

he would resign at the end of this month to take a position at Walmart. He started in the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in 2002 as an intern before becoming a deputy prosecutor in 2007.

Smith was first elected prosecuting attorney in May 2014, defeating opponent Kimberly Weber with about 52% of the vote. He took office the following January. He was reelected in 2018 and 2022.

Ro b i n s o n w i l l s e r ve through 2024. An election on March 5 will determine who will serve the remainder of Smith’s term, which runs through 2026. Robinson is ineligible to run for the office because of his appointment as interim prosecuting attorney.

Bryan Sexton, the office’s current chief deputy, has announced his intention to seek the position next year.