BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s son has been released early after being sentenced to 10 days in jail for DWI and drug charges.
William Asa Hutchinson III, 48, pleaded guilty to DWI and felony possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to three years of probation with 10 days in jail. Hutchinson had two days of jail credit, so he was set to only serve eight.
According to the Benton County prosecutor’s office, Hutchinson was in jail for about six hours before being released.
“I am aware that Hutchinson booked into the jail at 3:07 p.m. on Friday and was subsequently released at 9:07 p.m. the same day. The prosecuting attorney did not seek nor was made aware of an early release,” Benton County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Sexton said.
Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith said that an early release was not expected.
“I learned about the early release from the news. Although I haven’t heard exactly how the release happened, it is within the sheriff’s power to release people confined in the jail in certain cases,” Smith said. “To be clear, an early release was not part of his plea agreement or any back room negotiation. My expectation was that he would and should serve his sentence.”
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office says that jail overcrowding is to blame for the early release.
“[Hutchinson] was here on a misdemeanor commit out of circuit court. Due to the overcrowding and the fact that he would have been housed under administrative segregation we had no choice but to release him at this time,” BCSO Public Information Officer Shannon Jenkins said.
Jenkins said that Hutchinson was being held in an area normally reserved for holding violent felony charges, mental health or medical inmates.
Jenkins added that the jail overcrowding is a consistent problem for the county.
“It is no secret the jail is overcrowded and will continue to be until we can expand our facility,” Jenkins said.
The full story about Hutchinson’s arrest and sentencing can be found here.