Convicted murderer accused of beating NWA woman with crowbar

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — A man previously convicted on second-degree murder is accused of aggravated assault against a woman who claims to have been his prostitute.

La Vont Hernton, 58, of Fayetteville was arrested Thursday on suspicion of two counts of aggravated assault, according to a police report.

A female inmate at the Washington County Detention Center told police that Hernton hit her with a crowbar, according to the report.

The woman said that she was on Wedington Drive on May 20 when Hernton drove up.

“She explained in the past she had been a prostitute for Mr. Hernton and knew he wanted to hurt her,” the report states.

The woman said she ran toward Wedington Drive to get away from Hernton, but he chased her and hit her on the head with a crowbar, according to the report.

The woman said she was saved by a passing motorist and taken to a hospital, the report states.

The woman told police she did not seek medical attention because there were warrants out for her arrest, and that she had been having seizures ever since being hit, according to the report.

The woman also told police about an incident two days later in which Hernton attempted to sexually assault her. She said he fired a gun in the air when she refused his advance, the report states.

Police spoke to a witness who said she saw Hernton wielding a metal bar, chasing the woman on Wedington Drive. She said she saw the woman fall to her knees, and assumed that Hernton struck her with the bar, the report states.

Hernton was already in the Detention Center on a prior arrest for terroristic threatening when he was arrested on the aggravated assault complaints, the report states.

Hernton was found guilty in 2009 of second-degree murder. He was convicted in 2018 on second-degree terroristic threatening.

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