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Jones v. Frost

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

October 30, 2014

Kevin Jones, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
Mark Frost; Gary Dunn; James Bacon; City of Russellville, Arkansas, Defendants - Appellees

Submitted September 10, 2014

Appeal from United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas - Little Rock.

For Kevin Jones, Plaintiff - Appellant: Charles S. Gibson II, Charles Sidney Gibson, Gibson Law Offices, Dermott, AR.

For Mark Frost, Defendant - Appellee: John Lennon Wilkerson, Arkansas Municipal League, North Little Rock, AR; Russell A. Wood, Wood Law Firm, Russellville, AR.

For Gary Dunn, Defendant - Appellee: William Owen James Jr., Jeffrey M. Rosenzweig, Little Rock, AR.

For James Bacon, City of Russellville, Arkansas, Defendants - Appellees: John Lennon Wilkerson, Arkansas Municipal League, North Little Rock, AR.

Before WOLLMAN, LOKEN, and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 1184

MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

Kevin Jones filed this action four years after an Arkansas jury acquitted him of murdering Nona Dirksmeyer. Jones alleges that the City of Russellville, two

Page 1185

police officers named Mark Frost and James Bacon, and Gary Dunn, another man suspected of the murder, conspired to frame him for the crime. The district court[1] concluded that the statute of limitations on Jones' claims had run and granted summary judgment for the defendants. We affirm.

Nona Dirksmeyer, a nineteen year old student at Arkansas Tech University, was murdered in her Russeville, Arkansas apartment on December 15, 2005. She died after someone bludgeoned the back of her head with a lamp. Working under police chief James Bacon, officer Mark Frost investigated her murder and suspected that the crime was committed by either Kevin Jones, Dirksmeyer's boyfriend, or Gary Dunn, a parolee who lived across the street from her. After investigating both Jones and Dunn, Frost presented his findings in a report to the state prosecutor. His report stated that Jones had failed a polygraph exam and had given conflicting accounts about where he was at the time of the murder. According to the report, Dunn had passed his polygraph exam and claimed he had been shopping with his mother at the time Dirksmeyer was killed. Frost examined bank records that apparently confirmed where Dunn's mother had been on December 15, but a bank employee later told him that the records might not be accurate. As a result Frost decided not to include the bank records in his report to the prosecutor.

Based in part on Frost's report, the state charged Jones with murder. He went to trial, and a jury acquitted him in July 2007. A few months later, the state linked DNA evidence found in Dirksmeyer's apartment to Dunn. The state then prosecuted Dunn, who argued that Jones had committed the murder. Two different juries deadlocked ...


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