Special judge assigned to Linker case
By Scott Loftis
A special judge has been assigned to preside over the case of a Eureka Springs man who faces multiple charges including rape and kidnapping.
Meanwhile, Joseph William Linker remains in custody in the Carroll County Detention Center after being arrested earlier this month on charges of intimidating a witness and violation of a protective order.
In an order filed Monday, July 22, Arkansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Dan Kemp assigned Saline County Circuit Judge Gary Arnold to preside over the criminal case against Linker. Kemp’s order came after Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson granted a defense motion asking him to recuse himself from the case.
In a July 15 order, Jackson also granted attorney Tim Parker’s motion to withdraw as Linker’s legal counsel and appointed the Carroll County Public Defender’s Office to represent Linker.
Linker originally was arrested May 24, two days after his alleged victim filed a petition in Carroll County Circuit Court seeking an order of protection against him. In that petition, the alleged victim writes that Linker held her against her will and raped her more than once on May 14 and 15.
According to the alleged victim, Linker threatened her safety and that of her daughter if she reported the incident.
In an interview with Eureka Springs detective Josh Jackson, Linker denied raping the alleged victim, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Asked to explain the alleged victim’s multiple bruises, Linker said the alleged victim “does not eat very well and they had gone to the ground a couple of times before,” the affidavit says.
Circuit Judge Scott Jackson issued a temporary protective order the same day the petition was filed. A hearing to determine whether a permanent order will be issued was scheduled for June 18 but was continued at the defense’s request. That hearing is now scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Linker was freed from the county jail on May 29 after posting a $50,000 bond, but was arrested a second time on Monday, July 8 — five days after an arrest warrant was issued.
In a July 3 affidavit, Eureka Springs assistant police chief Brian Jones writes that Linker’s alleged victim spoke with a Eureka Springs officer on June 29 and reported that Linker had approached her the previous afternoon on Spring Street. The alleged victim told the officer that Linker said: “We should talk, because I’m coming for every quarter you have,” according to Jones’ affidavit. The alleged victim said she ignored Linker and walked quickly to car, the affidavit says.
The alleged victim told the officer she spoke with that the June 28 incident wasn’t the first time Linker had attempted to make contact with her, according to the affidavit. She said that on the afternoon of June 15, she was walking to her car when Linker spotted her from across the street and she heard him yell “you better keep walking,” the affidavit says. Two days later, the alleged victim said, she saw Linker at a Eureka Springs hotel and he “went out of his way to make eye contact with her at this time, with what she believes to be the intent to intimidate her,” the affidavit says. The alleged victim also said Linker had been seen by other employees at her workplace on multiple occasions, although she said she had not seen him there, according to the affidavit.
Linker was ordered to appear in court on Aug. 6 in connection with the newest charges. As of Wednesday afternoon, he was still being held in the county jail. No bond had been set.