Third suspect arrested in Loretta Pixler case - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

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Third suspect arrested in Loretta Pixler case

Rodney Watkins immediately following his probable cause hearing (Source: KAIT) Rodney Watkins immediately following his probable cause hearing (Source: KAIT)
Rodney Andra Watkins (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office) Rodney Andra Watkins (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

2:27 p.m. UPDATE: Court documents indicate Loretta "Lori" Pixler was alive when her abductors released her.

During questioning on Nov. 11 on an unrelated charge, Rodney Watkins told detectives he was with Byron Ford and Dawaun Logan the night the Dollar Tree manager was robbed and kidnapped.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Watkins said Ford and he followed Pixler's car after Logan had forced her in and ordered her to drive him away from the store. 

Watkins told detectives "he gave instructions to [Logan] on how to get out of Jonesboro" on the phone.

Watkins said he and Ford "Eventually picked up Logan on Highway 14 after he drove [Pixler's] car into the ditch."

The affidavit further stated:

Watkins also advised that Loretta Pixler was let out of the vehicle unharmed, near where her body was later found, by Dawaun Logan and then Logan drove her vehicle and parked it in a ditch a few miles away.

Tuesday afternoon Watkins appeared before a Craighead County District Court judge who found probable cause to charge him with aggravated kidnapping and robbery.

The judge set his bond at $500,000.


Jonesboro police said Tuesday a third man suspected in the robbery and abduction of Loretta “Lori” Pixler has turned himself in.

Rodney Andra Watkins, 21, of West Memphis was due to appear before a Craighead County District Court judge Tuesday afternoon on kidnapping and aggravated robbery charges, according to Detective Brandon King.

Watkins is accused along with Byron Ford and Dawaun Logan in the Sept. 25 aggravated robbery and kidnapping of Pixler.

According to court documents, Logan robbed Pixler and a co-worker at gunpoint as they left the Dollar Tree store, 2917 E. Nettleton.

Detectives said Logan forced Pixler into her car then got in the back seat and made her drive away.

Ford and Watkins, police said, followed in another car.

Cell tower information obtained by investigators showed Logan called Ford on his cell phone as both cars left Jonesboro heading toward Poinsett County.

Detectives said the communication continued to the “exact area” where Pixler’s body and car were later found on Interstate 555 near the Payneway exit.

In November, while being questioned on an unrelated charge, Watkins reportedly told police Pixler was “still alive” when they left her beside the interstate. 

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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