Arkansas court to hear motions in Thornton case

An Arkansas court will hear motions Tuesday on whether to transfer the Kevin Thornton murder case to juvenile court.

Three Arkansas teenagers are charged with second degree murder for the death of the 19-year-old Juneau man while he was visiting the Malvern area in August.

Seventeen-year-old Richard Whybark, and 16-year-old Timothy Norwood and Clinton Ross, were charged in adult court. Defense attorneys argue the charges should have been initially filed in juvenile court.

Prosecutors say the boys attacked Thornton and another man for no apparent reason while they were walking along a road. The teens also have been charged with an aggravating count of violent group activity.

The motion to transfer the case to juvenile court is scheduled for a half-day hearing in Hot Spring County Circuit Court. Defense attorneys filed the motion in October. They say subjecting a juvenile to the penalties available to adults – such as a life sentence without parole – is cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. and Arkansas constitutions.

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