ASH FLAT, AR (KAIT) – A Hardy man will spend 10 years in prison after entering a guilty plea for charges filed nearly six years ago.
According to Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce, Wayne Lee Watkins, 65, plead guilty to theft in a Sharp County courtroom Thursday. He was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with another five years to be served after he is released.
The charges from February 2007 involve Watkins accepting fraudulent payments on land contracts after foreclosure proceedings deprived him of owning the property. Watkins was the former owner of the Spring River Beach Club in the Hardy/Cherokee Village area.
Watkins had been hiding in Mexico until February 2011 when he was arrested by federal marshals in Texas and brought back to Sharp County.
Boyce stated numerous victims of Watkins brought cases to the prosecutor's office. All but one of the cases was determined to be a civil suit, according to Boyce. The Arkansas Attorney General's Office is now handling those cases.
Watkins was also ordered to pay $10,691.02 in restitution and $2,500 in court costs.