BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The prosecution responded after a capital murder defendant filed a motion seeking to quash subpoenas to access her DHS records before trial.
Shawna Cash, 24, is facing charges of capital murder, escape, fleeing, two counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental operations and reckless driving in connection with an incident that killed Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple in 2021.
On March 17, attorney Katherine S. Street of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission filed a motion addressing court-ordered subpoenas of Cash’s DHS records.
“The Prosecuting Attorney has no lawful basis for accessing the confidential records they are seeking,” Street’s filing said. “Because the Prosecuting Attorney’s attempted use of their subpoena power in this circumstance exceeds the authority granted by law, Defendant asks this
Court to quash the subpoena.”
The filing added that Cash’s right to a fair trial would be “irreparably damaged” if the subpoena was executed prior to a ruling on the motion. It asked for a temporary restraining order prohibiting the execution of the subpoena because of that.
On March 28, the prosecution filed a response to what it called “meritless assertions” in Cash’s motion. It also cited Arkansas code in saying that the subpoena wasn’t even necessary, and that “a simple request is sufficient.”
“A.C.A. §16-43-212 allows the Prosecuting Attorney and his deputies to compel the production of information, including documents,” the filing noted. “Title 12, chapter 18 of the Arkansas Code Annotated sets the parameters for disclosure of the records at issue in the instant case.”
The response brief went on to cite additional Arkansas state codes pertaining to the issue, including some specifically related to DHS records. It concluded by asking the court to reconsider and vacate its order to quash the prosecutor’s DHS subpoena.
Cash’s trial is scheduled to begin on July 31. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.