Trial dates set for men accused in 2018 slaying
Separate trial dates have been scheduled for three men accused in the 2018 murder of Chris Alvard at his home near Eureka Springs.
Joshua L. Anderson, Charles Ky Hanna and Jason Hartley Helm each are charged with first-degree murder and cruelty to animals in connection with Alvard’s death.
Each of the defendants is scheduled for a four-day jury trial. Helm’s trial is scheduled to begin April 26, with Hanna’s trial beginning June 28 and Anderson’s trial starting July 26. All three trials will be held in Carroll County Circuit Court in Eureka Springs.
Anderson, Hanna and Helm were arrested on Feb. 8, 2021 — the three-year anniversary of Alvard’s death — after an investigation by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police.
Alvard’s body was discovered inside a residence at 674 Carroll County Road 116 near Eureka Springs by CCSO deputies who were dispatched to check on an open door on Feb. 18, 2018.
The sheriff’s office requested assistance from the state police at the time of the murder and special agents from the ASP’s Criminal Investigation Team were assigned to the case.
One of the suspects confirmed to investigators that all three were involved in Alvard’s death, according to a probable-cause affidavit written by special agent Dale Bailey of the Arkansas State Police.
Family members became concerned when they couldn’t contact Alvard, according to the affidavit. Alvard’s mother went to his home and discovered the front door had been kicked in and there was a large amount of blood on the front porch, the affidavit says.
Carroll County deputies were dispatched to the scene and discovered Alvard’s body inside the doorway of the master bedroom, the affidavit says. Alvard’s dog was also found dead inside the residence and appeared to have been stabbed multiple times, according to the affidavit.
An autopsy later determined that Alvard died as the result of multiple stab wounds, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, the names of Anderson, Hanna and Helm “kept coming up as being involved” during the investigation into Alvard’s death.
“Based upon the three names, attempts were made to interview all three,” the affidavit says. “One of the three informed investigators that all three were involved in the death of Christopher Alvard. He stated that they initially went to the Alvard residence to ‘rough up’ Alvard. He stated Alvard fought back to the point where at least two of the potential defendants used deadly physical forced armed with knives.”
Other witnesses overheard or witnessed Anderson, Hanna and Helm discussing their involvement or saw evidence corroborating their involvement in Alvard’s death, the affidavit says.
All three men have pleaded not guilty.
Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson granted prosecuting attorney Tony Rogers’ motions to recuse himself from each case because Rogers has represented each defendant in the past. Special prosecutor Jack McQuary was appointed in each case.