A 38-year-old Mountain Home woman is dead and her 43-year-old husband is in the Baxter County jail, accused of stabbing her multiple times Tuesday night.
Rick Headley was arrested and taken to the Baxter County jail where he was being held on a murder charge, according to Mountain Home Police Chief Carry Manuel.
Rick Headley is accused stabbing his wife, Kirstie Headley, multiple times.
According to police, Headley went to the Dollar General store in the 1300 block of Arkansas State Highway 5 South in Mountain Home shortly before 10 p.m. Once there, he allegedly stabbed his wife multiple times.
After the stabbing, Headley reportedly fled the area in a 1995 red Chevrolet Corsica. Police were able to quickly establish Headley as a suspect in the stabbing.
As an ambulance crew worked feverishly to attempt to save Kirstie Headley’s life, officers from the MHPD were joined by the Arkansas State Police and the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office in the search for Headley.
The ambulance, lights and sirens on, rushed Kirstie Headley to Baxter Regional Medical Center as law enforcement officers began speaking to relatives and friends of Rick Headley, trying to determine his location.
Over the course of the next few hours, officers searched Headley at homes and on roads near Amon’s Lake and the Moose Lodge, both on Highway 5 south of the location of the stabbing.
The search, already a tense one, was made more so as dispatchers told officers Headley might have two guns in the car. There was no information broadcast regarding the weapon Headley allegedly used to stab his wife.
Headley was reportedly in contact with friends via cell phone and told them he wanted to turn himself in. Authorities found his car abandoned at Amon’s Lake. There was no sign of the suspect.
Patrol cars drove nearby roads in search of Headley who was assumed to be on foot at that point.
Dispatchers were working to “ping” Headley’s phone. The act of “pinging” a cell phone means authorities send a signal to the phone and when the phone responds, authorities can see the cell towers the phone connects with.
By triangulating the strength of the signal coming from the cell phone relative to tower locations, authorities can develop a rough location of the phone.
The system is not 100 percent effective and in the case of Headley’s phone, radio traffic indicated his phone was showing up at widely separated locations within Baxter County.
The dog team from the North Central Unit prison was called to the scene. They began tracking Headley’s movements. The BCSO helicopter took to the air and began aiding in the search.
Then, a friend of Headley’s called the BCSO and reported that Headley was at a home on Widners Place just a short distance south and east of Amon’s Lake. Officers from the MHPD arrived at the residence and took Headley into custody.
Radio traffic indicated Headley left a jacket with blood on it at the residence where he surrendered himself. The jacket was seized as evidence.
Wife had order of protection
On Nov. 7 of last year, Kirstie Headley filed for an order of protection against her husband.
In the affidavit accompanying the petition, Kirstie describes an incident of domestic violence that allegedly occurred on October 25.
Kirstie Headley wrote:
I have been trying to get Rick to leave my home in an attempt to separate from him which he refuses and has become more obsessed and controlling in the relationship. On or about Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Rick became aggressive and grabbed me by the throat and pulled a knife on me that he had hidden under a shirt in the bedroom floor.
I have pictures of the marks that were left from this incident. Then on Friday November 3, 2017, he took my phone attempting to look through it and refused to return it. He finally returned it on Sunday November 5, 2017.
A temporary order of protection was granted. However, on Dec. 12 of last year, Kirstie Headley asked the court to dismiss the order of protection, a request the court granted.
Then, on Jan. 2 of this year, she asked the order be reinstated, according to court records. That request also was granted. On Feb. 23, the court granted a final order of protection barring Rick Headley from being around his estranged wife.
Headley has been arrested at least once for violation of a protection order, according to electronic records.
Authorities expect formal charges to be filed against Rick Headley for the death of his wife “soon” according to MHPD Chief Carry Manuel.