Craighead County attorney Bobby McDaniel, who filed a lawsuit nearly 10 years ago against manufacturers of the guns used in the Westside Middle School shooting in Jonesboro, says that he has located and served convicted killer Andrew Golden with papers, and plans to depose him May 6. Golden was 11 years old on March 24, 1998, when he and Mitchell Johnson pulled the fire alarm at their school and then fired on their teachers and classmates with high-powered rifles as they came out of the building. Thirteen were wounded, and four students and a teacher were killed. Because they were juveniles, Golden and Johnson were convicted and held in secret. Their records were expunged and they were released when they each turned 21 — Johnson on Aug. 11, 2005; Golden on May 25, 2007.
McDaniel said that a retired State Police investigator in his employ served Golden after a long search and a three-day stakeout. At the time, McDaniel said, Golden was living somewhere in Arkansas under an assumed name. McDaniel wouldn’t release more information.
“Frankly,” McDaniel said, “I don’t want the press going up and asking him ‘What are you going to say when McDaniel asks you this or that?’ because I don’t want him planning his answers. I want him a little more unprepared or off guard.”
McDaniel said he plans on delving deeply into what happened and why, saying he’ll compare Golden’s version of events with that provided by Johnson, who has already been deposed. Afterward, McDaniel will release everything he knows about Golden and his answers.
“I think the public’s entitled to know,” McDaniel said. “If they’re entitled to know if there’s a sexual predator that lives on their block, I think they ought to be entitled to know if there’s a mass murderer that lives next door.”
Turn out the lights
That’s what Travelers CEO Bill Valentine says he’s going to do May 1 at Ray Winder Field. Valentine said he’s turning over the old ballpark to the city. “There’s no sense in paying the utilities and insurance” on the stadium any longer, Valentine said. The Travelers have carried liability and property insurance and kept the lights on since leaving the field for the new Dickey-Stephens ballpark in North Little Rock last year.
The park has suffered from neglect and vandalism; just last week, glass was broken and part of the outfield fence removed, Valentine said.
The Travelers only own the building. The city and state own the land.