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story.lead_photo.caption James Phillip Womack, 31, Rogers, BENCO, drug charges

BENTONVILLE -- The son of an Arkansas congressman was sentenced to nine years in prison last week after pleading guilty to drugs and firearm-related charges.

James Phillip Womack, 31, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a counterfeit substance with purpose to deliver, two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of firearms by certain persons. Womack resolved his case through a plea agreement Shane Wilkinson, his attorney, reached with David James, deputy prosecutor.

Womack is the son of U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, a Republican.

Police arrested James Womack in September. A warrant was issued for his arrest for absconding while on parole, according to court documents. He was arrested at Woodsprings Suite, 1201 Phyllis St. in Bentonville, according to court documents.

Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren accepted the plea agreement and Womack's guilty plea.

Womack was sentenced April 10 to nine years in the custody of the Department of Correction. He must abide by a suspended sentence agreement for 15 years after his release from prison.

He received 109 days credit for the time he's spent in the Benton County jail awaiting his trial.

Womack must pay $1,420 in court associated costs.

"Phillip is just a young man that has an addiction," Wilkinson said. "His family has been coping with it for years like thousands of other families. They [his family] love him and they have a lot of hope for his future and that he is going to turn his life around."

Womack pleaded guilty in November 2010 to conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, a felony. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with a boot camp recommendation, a 105-day program. He also was arrested for violating parole in November 2011 and April 2012, according to previous reports.

"Like so many families across this nation, our family has been dealing with a loved one's addiction," Steve Womack said in a news release after his son's September arrest. "The most recent arrest of our son adds to that pain. We love him unconditionally; however, as an adult, he is accountable for the choices he's made. We honor and respect the criminal justice system that will decide his fate. I truly regret that he has put himself and his family in this difficult situation."

Metro on 04/18/2019

Print Headline: Arkansas congressman's son gets 9-year term in gun, drug case

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Comments

  • hah406
    April 18, 2019 at 8:41 a.m.

    This is unfortunate for him and his family. Sadly prison isn't going to do one damn thing to help him. He needs a long term rehabilitation program for his addiction accompanied by strict follow-up and monitoring. It is a cheaper and much more effective alternative than prison, but too many of our politicians just can't wrap their heads around the idea.

  • eaglescout
    April 18, 2019 at 9:43 a.m.

    What type of gainful employment did he have, if any? Maybe too much time on his hands with no funds coming in led to this. Remember what is said about "idle hands".

  • obbie
    April 18, 2019 at 9:51 a.m.

    ...What HAH406 said...

  • Justthefaqsmaam
    April 18, 2019 at 9:51 a.m.

    Unfortunately, most rehabilitation doesn’t work the first, second, or third time around and must be repeated multiple times before ‘it sticks’. Sometimes it never sticks. Most insurance companies won’t keep paying over and over for rehabilitation that has such a low success rate. He does need to be in prison because he’s a criminal and it sounds like he’s had opportunity after opportunity to figure this out. The prison system should run an intensive rehabilitation inpatient program similar to the free world and all those incarcerated and convicted of drug crimes be housed together and be required to do their entire sentence living and participating in this program. Some people you can’t help - they are addicts and always will be.

  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    April 18, 2019 at 10:25 a.m.

    Hope the young man gets some help.

  • hah406
    April 18, 2019 at 10:36 a.m.

    I would be all for a program within the prison as well, but Arkansas does a very poor job of even providing that. 28 day rehab never worked anyway. It became 28 days because that is all insurance would pay for. The programs with the highest success rates have you stay for between 13 weeks and six months.

  • MaxCady
    April 18, 2019 at 10:55 a.m.

    He was already on parole? And they gave him a huge break back in 2010 with the boot camp. Plus he violated twice. He's not going to like prison but it sounds like he needs to learn a lesson.

  • hah406
    April 18, 2019 at 11:51 a.m.

    Max, his repeated violations are essentially proof that the judicial system does not take the proper approach to dealing with drug addicts. And sadly, prison will likely not teach him the lessons that he needs to learn. He will probably come out as an even sneakier drug addict with additional criminal skills. If our prison system implemented the right kind of rehabilitation programs, the outcome could much improved.

  • MaxCady
    April 18, 2019 at 1:17 p.m.

    @Hah406, I agree, and if I'm not mistaken, rehab is a whole lot cheaper than incarceration.

  • CharlesJohnson
    April 18, 2019 at 1:19 p.m.

    My heartfelt prayers go out to Senator Womack, his family and his son James. I know the pain of families in this struggle. My 30-year-old ICU Nurse and granddaughter died of an overdose two years ago after all her medical training and care from her profession. It's possible to help but the cure can only come from the victim and the help of God.

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