Former public defender arrested for attacking Cherokee Village woman

Published: May. 18, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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CHEROKEE VILLAGE, Ark. (KAIT) - A former public defender in Northeast Arkansas was arrested after attacking one of his clients.

Former Sharp County Public Defender Calvin Harrell faces a charge of second-degree battery.

According to an affidavit filed in Sharp County on May 16, on April 24, Cherokee Village Police were called to an address on Opalochee Drive in reference to a domestic disturbance.

Police say the front door of the home had been damaged, as well as furniture in the living room.

A victim inside the home said Harrell had visited their residence to discuss “getting a warrant took care of,” the affidavit said.

During the conversation, Harrell became angry and hit the victim multiple times.

The victim was taken to a local emergency room for treatment of her injuries.

Harrell had left the scene before police arrived but was located later at his law firm.

Harrell stated the victim attempted to smoke meth from a pipe in front of him, then began to attack him.

The affidavit noted Harrell’s knuckles were “raw” and had scratched on his right forearm, while the victim suffered a concussion, a broken left arm, a broken finger, and a broken rib.

A warrant for Harrell’s arrest was issued for a felony charge of second-degree domestic battery.

Judges Huff, Weeks, and Ratton have all recused themself from the case.

On May 16, a request for a special judge was sent to the Arkansas Office of the Courts.

The victim’s neighbors are in disbelief, saying cases like these don’t generally happen in their neighborhood.

“This is a safe community. You’ve got oddballs that come up here and there with odd things, and you’re going to have that. To be honest about it, I think it’s a very good place to live,” said Neighbor Don Clayton.

Clayton explained he was disgusted to hear what Harrell had done.

“I don’t believe in beating on people. We do our best to keep the peace around here. These kinds of things had ought not to happen,” he said.

Cherokee Village Resident Doug Driesel also scratching his head, curious as to why a former public defender would behave in such a way.

“Obviously, this guy has an anger problem, and you don’t want a guy with an anger problem representing you in court.”

Driesel said he wants his community to keep an eye open and look out for their fellow neighbors.

“We’ve got a nice little town here, and we’ve got to watch out for each other and watch what’s going on in the community,” said Driesel.

CORRECTION: In the initial story, K8 News alluded to Calvin Harrell being a current public defender for Sharp County. However, this is not true, and the story has been corrected.