Sheriff: Despite 'confession,' hit and run suspect won't face charges

Sheriff: Despite 'confession,' hit and run suspect won't face charges
Hit-and-run victim Douglas A. Foreman (Source: Baxter Co. Sheriff's Office)
Hit-and-run victim Douglas A. Foreman (Source: Baxter Co. Sheriff's Office)

BAXTER COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A man who investigators say confessed to hitting and killing a man last year will not face charges.

On Nov. 3, 2015, Douglas A. Foreman, 63, of Mountain Home died when a car struck his bicycle and killed him on Old Military Road.

Baxter County sheriff's deputies found his body the following day.

After collecting evidence from the scene, detectives launched an intensive investigation to find the person responsible.

Sheriff John Montgomery stated in a news release that his office received more than 200 citizen tips and leads with varying degrees of information.

In May, a confidential informant provided the name of a potential suspect: Bobby D. Dutton, 19, of Mountain Home.

Detectives interviewed Dutton's family, friends, and associates.

Witnesses told investigators that Dutton drove to a mobile home park in Midway immediately following the collision.

The witnesses, according to Montgomery, said Dutton appeared "very upset and frantic." He reportedly told the witnesses, "I hit someone."

Dutton then indicated he needed a change of clothing and asked the people present to help him burn the clothes he wore.

Upon hearing the witnesses statements, deputies asked Dutton to come to the sheriff's office in May for an interview. He refused.

Detectives interviewed him on June 10, but he disclosed nothing, Montgomery said. During a subsequent interview on July 20, Dutton asked for an attorney and made no statements.

On Sept. 21, Investigator Scott Thrasher prepared an affidavit for an arrest warrant. The prosecuting attorney filed the charge, and a Baxter County Circuit Court judge issued an arrest warrant on Sept. 27.

When detectives went to arrest Dutton, they learned he had overdosed on drugs in Marion County and was being treated at the Baxter Regional Medical Center. Dutton died five days later on Sept. 30.

Montgomery said the county coroner's office could not determine if the overdose was accidental or intentional.

Investigators never served the outstanding warrant on him.

Following his death, Dutton's family told investigators he had confessed to running over Foreman on the evening in question, Montgomery said.

The sheriff's department has closed the case.

Montgomery thanked the public for their assistance in providing tips, leads, and other information during the course of the year-long investigation.

He also offered his appreciation to the following for their help and support:

  • Arkansas State Police
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation – Fayetteville Field Office and Quantico, VA
  • Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
  • Baxter County Coroner's Office
  • 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force
  • Forensic ITC Services – Scottsdale, AZ
  • IPTM – Jacksonville, FL
  • Mobilized Cellular Repair – Mountain Home

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