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story.lead_photo.caption Taylor Cynthia Elkins ( Sebastian County sheriff's office )

FORT SMITH — A Fort Smith woman was charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in Sebastian County Circuit Court.

Taylor Cynthia Elkins, 22, previously had been charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution and theft by receiving, Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue said in a Wednesday news release. Since that time, Shue’s office has worked closely with the Fort Smith Police Department in an investigation surrounding the death of a man named William Dubois.

A critical part of this investigation, Shue said, was completed earlier this week. While Shue said he is not permitted to disclose the nature or extent of the investigation because of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct, he mentioned that evidence in the case led to the murder charge being filed against Elkins.

The investigation by Fort Smith police, the prosecuting attorney’s office and other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, is ongoing, Shue said.

Another news release from Shue, dated July 16, stated that Elkins on July 16 was being charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution, which is a Class B felony, and theft by receiving, a Class C felony.

A probable-cause affidavit dated July 12 stated that police officers contacted Elkins on July 11 in the 4400 block of Armour Avenue in Fort Smith. Elkins was reportedly in possession of a red 2013 Ford Focus that belonged to Dubois, who was recently deceased and believed to have been the victim of foul play.

Elkins gave inconsistent statements concerning how she came to have the vehicle, the affidavit states. She originally said a man had given her the car, but then later said she was given the car in exchange for sexual favors from Dubois. She was arrested and transported to the Sebastian County jail for booking.

Shue said in another news release that Elkins was arraigned on her two charges July 17. The public defender was appointed to represent Elkins, and a plea of innocent was entered on her behalf. Bail of $100,000 cash was set for her.

Elkins may be arraigned on the first-degree murder charge, a Class Y felony, on Oct. 16, Shue said Wednesday.

Print Headline: Woman, 22, charged in Fort Smith slaying


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