CONWAY A judge has ordered a suspect in a 2002 double slaying be released pending his trial next year.
Faulkner County Circuit Judge Charles Clawson granted a motion releasing Richard Conte after his attorney argued speedy trial rules required it.
Conte, a former emergency room doctor, has been held without bail in the 2002 shooting deaths of Carter Elliott and Timothy Wayne Robertson.
But defense attorney Jack Lassiter successfully argued that state rules require a defendant be released if he has not been tried within 9 months of his arrest. The state contended that more time should have been granted because of the complex nature of the case and an illness suffered by the lead prosecutor.
Clawson granted the release but ordered Conte be held until he can be outfitted with a GPS tracking device. He will then be driven to Wisconsin, where he will stay with his mother pending a trial set to start in Conway on Jan. 8.
Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said Conte will be under "house arrest" there.
"It's a fair decision based on the rules the judge had to work with," Hiland said shortly after Clawson announced his order. "... There's nothing we could do."
Conte was charged with the murders in Arkansas shortly before being paroled from a Nevada prison, where he served time for kidnapping ex-wife Lark Gathright-Elliott. Before marrying Conte, she was married to Elliott.