Man takes plea on felony charges

By Bradly Gill

February 19, 2019

A Louann man faces up to 10 years in prison as a result of plea deals from two separate felony cases.

Duston Abeyta pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court of Ouachita County last week to residential burglary and theft of property worth more than $1,000, but less than $5,000.

Court documents state that on July 18, 2018, the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a woman in Harmony Grove who stated that a Duston Abeyta and Kory Barnes had been staying with her at her home. She stated that there was property in her home and in her shed that had been brought there by Abeyta and Barnes that she believed to have been stolen. Officers went to the home and she showed them several totes of glassware and took them to her shed where there were bags of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Tony Stewart memorabilia.

The reporting officer also states seeing a vacuum cleaner, crossbow and tools, and paperwork inside one of the bags that had the name of a Texas resident. They contacted the McCamey Texas Police Department, and they made contact with the Texas resident. A man then made contact with OCSD and told them that he owned a residence along Arkansas 376 South that had a lot of items in it similar to what was described.

The man stated that the value of the items as being close to $5,000 or more. He stated that he would come to Arkansas, visit the residence on Arkansas 376 South, inventory everything still missing and give a value on what had been recovered. Officers then went to the man’s residence where they found that the back door broken and open, and a shed behind the house that had the lock torn off and items dragged out. The owner later reported that a welder had been taken.

The Harmony Grove resident went to the sheriff’s department and was interviewed about the stolen items and the residence where they had been stolen from. She said Abeyta and Barnes had been taking the items to her residence over a month, and that Abeyta told her that they took the items came from a double-wide trailer he called the “honey hole.”

In an interview with Barnes, he stated that he and Abeyta had gone to the trailer rand shed on two different occasions and had stolen things. Barnes stated that Abeyta was the person who told him about it the residence, and that Abeyta called “the honey hole.

On July 17, 2018 a person contacted the Ouachita County Sheriff’s Department and stated that someone had stolen his 2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 Side-by-Side which was valued at $11,500.00 and that was chained to a tree on Ouachita 75 next to his deer camp.

Vaughn described the suspects and the vehicle they were driving. While deputies were responding to the location, they saw a vehicle on Arkansas 24 that fit the description of the suspects’ truck. Deputies initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle identify the occupants as Barnes and Abeyta. Deputies then asked if they had any information about a stolen side-by side,. Abeyta admitted that they had stolen the side-by-side and hid it in a wooded area along Arkansas 24 and Ouachita 23.

Barnes and Abeyta were taken into custody and transported to the Ouachita County Sheriffs Department.

Both were charged with theft of property worth more than $5,000. CID Investigator Captain David Pennington responded to the scene and took photos of the side-by-side and gathered information, and the side-by-side was located in the area that Abeyta had given.

During the course of the investigation, a witness provided the Criminal Investigation Division with a picture that had been taken on his cellular phone. The picture showed a truck with a side-by-side in the back.

The truck was identified as the suspect’s vehicle, and the side-by-side was the one the belonged to the victim.

Abeyta was also a suspect in a burglary of property on Highway 7 that was stripped of copper tubing, a pressure washer and large air compressor, court documents show.

A search was conducted through www. leadsonline to see if any copper tubing had been scrapped during that particular time-frame. The website shows that during that time, a local metal business had bought tubing from Abeyta. Upon his arrest, Abeyta admitted to stealing the tubing.

Abeyta has previously been convicted of five other felonies.

Court documents also show that Abyeta’s cohort, Barnes, is currently awaiting trial.