UPDATE: Judge's decision upheld

Man's sentenced reduced

(KAIT) - MAY 12 UPDATE: An Arkansas Court of Appeals decision to reverse  in the conviction of Nathan Inskeep has been upheld.

APRIL 4 UPDATE: Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office filed a petition for the Arkansas Supreme Court to review the case.

The Arkansas Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of a Greene County man Wednesday.

A Greene County jury found Nathan Inskeep guilty of aggravated residential burglary in May and gave him 40 years of imprisonment.

The Court of Appeals reversed the conviction 10 months later to residential burglary and cut his sentence in half.

According to the original police report, Inskeep was arrested for forcing his way into a Marmaduke woman's home wearing only a red sweatshirt and nothing on the bottom.

Court documents state Inskeep lunged at the woman and caused a scratch to her infant's face.

"We thought as prosecutors, as state attorneys, we made an appropriate charge in charging aggravated residential burglary but the Court of Appeals disagreed," Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said.

Five judges on the Arkansas Court of Appeals said the evidence presented failed to show that Inskeep attempted to inflict death or serious physical injury, which is required in an aggravated residential burglary charge.

The State said in the original conviction that there is "more than enough evidence…to show he entered the house with the purpose of committing sexual assault" and that "rape or a sexual assault is a serious physical injury."

The State also stated "silently pursuing a woman (who, to all appearances, is alone except for a baby in her arms) into her house after she refuses to come to you, attempting to grab her, and continuing to pursue her as she flees screaming through her home – all done while naked below the waist – is inherently threatening."

The Court of Appeals changed the conviction to residential burglary based on the evidence they heard.

Judge Brandon Harrison wrote, "Even assuming that Inskeep did intend to sexually assault the woman, we hold that his intention, combined with his pursuing her into her home, grabbing her shoulder, and causing a minor scratch to the baby's face, does not constitute a substantial step toward inflicting serious physical injury."

Ellington said he received multiples calls Thursday from people outraged with the new conviction and sentencing.

"From all the calls and messages that I received, the public is outraged by this decision to reduce this charge considering the facts that were made and I think that if you look at the dissent in the opinion it certainly bares out why the public would be outraged," Ellington said.

One judge in the Court of Appeals agrees with the public's outrage.

In his dissent statement Judge Larry Vaught said he saw no reason to reverse the jury's original decision.

Vaught stated the risk to the woman and her baby was much greater than his colleagues stated.

He said the majority of the court is treating Inskeep the same as a burglar who breaks into a home to steal something like a television when no one is home.

Vaught ended his dissent stating "I refuse to tell the women of this state that if a masturbating, half-naked man forces his way into your home, grabs you and chases you through the house while you try to fight him off, don't worry – he probably doesn't intend to seriously hurt you…only sexually assault you."

Ellington told Region 8 News the Attorney General has not decided if they will file for another appeal in this case.

The entire appeal can be found here.

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