The theft case against former Diamond City Mayor Jan Hudson should be dismissed because she hasn't been formally charged with a crime, according to a filing Friday in Boone County Circuit Court.
Hudson, 58, was to stand trial next week in Harrison, but her trial has been postponed until Oct. 28 to give the court time to review her motion to dismiss.
Hudson was arrested May 22, 2018, in the theft of $4,550 from the Diamond City Community Center.
She was charged with one count of felony theft of property on May 18, 2018, according to a document from the circuit clerk's office. Hudson resigned from her position as mayor in June.
Hudson is accused of using $500 of the community center's funds to pay the entry fee for a bass fishing tournament, according to an affidavit from an Arkansas State Police investigator. Hudson also wrote a $1,400 check from the community center funds to pay for a pickup that she gave her son, according to the affidavit.
But Hudson hasn't "been charged with any crime by indictment or information" as required by the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure, according to the motion filed Friday by Nancy L. Mathis, a Harrison attorney, on Hudson's behalf.
As a result, Boone County Circuit Court doesn't have jurisdiction over the case so it didn't have the authority to postpone the trial, which it has done several times, wrote Mathis. The state has 365 days in which to try a defendant, but 493 days have passed since Hudson was arrested in this case, according to the motion.
"It is generally recognized that a defendant does not have to bring himself to trial and is not required to bang on the courthouse door in order to preserve his right to a speedy trial," wrote Mathis. "The burden is on the courts and the prosecutors to see that trials are held in a timely fashion. ...
"Without formal charges in this matter, this court is without jurisdiction over this case and this matter should be dismissed."
Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge said charges were properly filed in the case.
"The evidence will show that in a hearing on this motion," he said.
Metro on 09/28/2019
Print Headline: Motion to toss ex-mayor's theft case filed