BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Little Rock man on trial in Benton County for an altercation with a deputy changed his plea during jury deliberations and avoided jail time.
Rick Thomas Jones, 40, was arrested Oct. 15, 2020, on misdemeanor charges and was being booked in Benton County.
An affidavit says that a deputy was helping in the process of booking Jones when he reportedly became “verbally aggressive” with the arresting officer.
The affidavit says that after the initial intake procedures, where Jones refused to identify himself, he became completely resistant, flailing his arms and legs attempting to strike the two deputies that had escorted him to his cell.
He reportedly struck one of the deputy’s legs, slamming it against the wall. The deputy then delivered several closed fist strikes to Jones’ abdominal area.
At this time, other deputies went to help. Jones maneuvered his head and bit the pinky finger and palm of one of the deputies, who then again delivered multiple closed fist strikes to his torso and head.
The affidavit claims that Jones left open wounds, scratches and red marks on a deputy’s forearm, right hand and both knees.
Jones wrote a letter to the court, stating that deputies were in “breach of trust in the first instance of contact” and had violated his rights of due process.
He was charged with one count of battery in the second degree, a Class D felony. If convicted, Jones faced a maximum of six years in prison.
Jones pleaded not guilty, and the case went to jury trial last week.
In the middle of jury deliberations, Jones changed his plea to guilty. He was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation.