BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Benton County prosecutor has formally filed three charges against the son of former Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson after his Jan. 13 arrest.
William Hutchinson III, 47, was arrested after a deputy pulled him over for driving 71 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the affidavit. The deputy found a Glock 43 9mm handgun in the center console and a white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine. According to the deputy, Hutchinson was noticeably slurring his words and there was a strong odor of alcohol.
Prosecutor Nathan Smith has formally charged Hutchinson with Possession of a Controlled Substance, DWI– 2nd offense and Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test.
Hutchinson is now facing a Class D felony for the possession of a controlled substance, which is the least serious felony offense level in Arkansas. It is punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Hutchinson was potentially facing a Class Y felony for a charge of simultaneous possession of drugs and a firearm, which is punishable by up to 10 to 40 years of life in prison. But Smith told KNWA/FOX24 he is not formally charging him for that offense.
We didn’t charge him [with] simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms. While every case is decided on its individual facts, it is my practice to file that charge in cases where a person possessed the gun for the purpose of protecting a drug operation or engaging in drug trafficking. Where the firearm possession appears to simply be incidental as it did in this case, it is my general practice not to file that charge. It is important that prominent defendants are treated similarly to other defendants, no better and no worse.Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith
Hutchinson will appear in court on April 11.