$1M bond set in Newark murder case, names of victim & suspect released

$1M bond set in Newark murder case, names of victim & suspect released

NEWARK, Ark. (KAIT) - A 47-year-old man faces murder and abuse of a corpse charges in the murder of a Newark man Tuesday afternoon.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a home health medical aid found Donnie Scheffler, 60, dead inside an apartment on the 800-block of Long Street around 2:15 p.m.

Investigators confirmed Scheffler had suspected blunt force injuries to his head, severe sharp force injuries to his abdomen and that “both of his legs had been severed at the knees.”

47-year-old William Mingues faces murder and abuse of a corpse charges in the murder of a Newark man Tuesday afternoon.
47-year-old William Mingues faces murder and abuse of a corpse charges in the murder of a Newark man Tuesday afternoon. (Source: Independence County Sheriff's Office)

The next-door neighbor, identified as William Earl Mingues, 47, eventually gave investigators specific details of how Scheffler was killed. However, he started by telling investigators he didn’t remember the last time he had seen him.

He admitted the two weren’t actually good friends and that he barely knew him.

Mingues said the victim always beat on his wall and his alarm bell outside the apartment, which residents use when they need help or are in distress, always went off.

Investigators found that the bell had been tampered with.

Mingues added that a woman who lived at the apartments asked him to disable it, but he didn’t elaborate.

Investigators saw that Mingues' footwear and boots had a red substance that appeared to be blood.

They searched him and found Scheffler’s hair in his wallet.

“You know what I did and you know why I did it, I had to silence, I had to silence the bell, I had to silence it,” Minguez told investigators.

Minguez also alleges that Scheffler asked him to cause his death.

The victim’s body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for an autopsy to determine the time and cause of death.

Judge Tim Weaver found probable cause to charge Minguez with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse.

Mingues is in the Independence County Detention Center on a one million dollar bond.

Region 8 News requested information on the case Tuesday after learning that sheriff’s deputies were on the scene.

ASP responded: “Procedurally we don’t issue a statement regarding cases such as this until the case agent and his or her supervisor have begun to wrap-up their initial crime scene operations and once next of kin have been notified.”

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and provide updates as they become available.

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