Man pleads guilty to assault

Published 10:35 am Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Joseph G. Arnold, also known as Joseph Burnett, recently pleaded guilty in Lincoln County Circuit Court to one count each of trespass and simple assault following a plea deal.

Arnold was indicted in 2013 on one count of burglary of a dwelling and one count of sexual battery. The indictment accused Arnold of breaking into the victim’s home and raping her.

On March 16, Arnold’s defense attorney filed a notice that it intended to use an alibi defense.

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“The defendant may call his mother, Brenda Burnett, as an alibi witness,” the document said. “The defendant expects Brenda Burnett to testify that on or about the date and time of the alleged incident, the defendant was home with her.”

According to court documents, under the plea deal the maximum sentence would be six months in jail and a $500 fine. The court’s recommended sentence was three months in jail on the first count and six months for the second, with both to run concurrently. The recommended fine was $250.

Robert Eugene Smith

A man accused of having sex with a child under the age of 14 will go to trial today.

An indictment was returned on Nov. 20, 2015, for Robert Smith, accusing him of the crime on May 27 and May 28, 2015. He is charged with two counts of sexual battery. The indictment states that Smith is over the age of 18.

The crimes carry a potential sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

An order was filed with the court to close the courtroom during the testimony of the alleged victim.

According to Lincoln County Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield, Smith’s trial is today starting at 9 a.m., with testimony expected to begin around noon.