Pea Ridge man denied cemetery access; accused of placing dead animals on a grave

Northwest Arkansas News

“No! I’m not going to tell you it was me because it wasn’t"

BENTON COUNTY (KNWA/KFTA) — Joseph Stroud, 79, is banned from the Pea Ridge Cemetery after being accused of placing dead animals on a man’s grave, according to Benton County court documents.

On Monday, September 21, Stroud pleaded not guilty to felony defacing objects of public respect and misdemeanor harassment at his Benton County Circuit Court arraignment, according to documents.

The Bentonville man is accused of placing dead animals on Fred Allen McKinney’s gravestone in late May through July. He’s also accused of harassing McKinney’s family and damaging the headstone, according to court records.

He was arrested on August 10.

Police investigating the case said the headstone has more than $2,500 in damages because it’s stained with the blood of dead animals.


The Pea Ridge man denies leaving the dead animals — a dead possum and eight live babies inside an attached flower vase connected to the headstone. In all, an estimated 16 dead animals have been left at the grave.

Stroud is back in court on November 16. The judge ordered him not go to the Pea Ridge Cemetery.

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