Murder, rape investigations begin days apart in small Arkansas town

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DALLAS COUNTY, Ark. – Two violent cases have emerged in a small, south Arkansas town that landed one man behind bars for murder and another man behind bars for rape.

Authorities in Dallas county released say both crimes happened in the town of Sparkman, which has a population of less than 500 people.

“You know, Sparkman is typically a quiet town,” Chuck Barker, an investigator with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office says.

On Thursday, June 6, investigators say a Jefferey Blevins stabbed his on-again, off-again friend, Sam Bailey, to death in the driveway of a home.

“The next thing I knew, I heard yelling and screaming,” Mike Gaston says.

Gaston owns the home where it happened and saw Bailey fall over, clutching his blood-covered chest.

“He got to right here, and he said ‘I feel like I’m going to pass…” and he never got ‘out’ out of his mouth, and he fell into my arm, and I caught him,” Gaston says.

“Laid him down right here, and this is where he died.”

Two days later, the sheriff’s office describes a terrifying scene that unfolded at a home just down the road.

Deputies arrested Michael Bagley after they say he forced an elderly woman into his home, sexually assaulted her and made threats with a shotgun.

Family members came to the woman’s rescue thanks to a tracking app on her phone.

Both incidents mark two disturbing cases in an otherwise undisturbed community.

“It’s a big deal,” Barker says.

“And, we’re going to treat it that way.”

Blevins faces a second-degree murder charge and Bagley faces charges of kidnapping, rape among other charges, according to authorities.

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