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Juneau resident beaten to death in Arkansas

Posted: July 28, 2011 - 3:41pm

HOT SPRING COUNTY, Ark. - A Juneau resident has died in Arkansas a week after being severely beaten by four juveniles, KATV TV in Little Rock, Ark. is reporting.

Kevin Thornton, of Juneau, was pronounced dead shortly after 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Baptist Medical Center in Little Rock, the station reports. He ws taken there after being assaulted July 20 in Malvern, Ark., a town about 45 miles southwest of Little Rock.

On July 20, at approximately 7:30 pm, the Hot Spring County 911 received a call concerning a man that had been assaulted near the Glen Rose Baptist Church on Traskwood Road in the Glen Rose area of the county.  The caller requested an ambulance and law enforcement.

Thornton was visiting friends and relatives in Arkansas.  At the time of the attack, he and his friend, from the area, were walking along a county road to the friend's girl friend's house.  Investigators believe the attack was completely unprovoked.

The resulting investigation determined that four juveniles had attacked two young men who had been walking along Traskwood Road.  One of the two young men managed to flee his attackers, the other did not.

Late Tuesday evening, investigators believed they had identified the four suspects and had enough probable cause to seek their arrest.  Overnight, two of the four juveniles were arrested.  The other two turned themselves in later Wednesday morning. 

A juvenile detention hearing was held late Wednesday morning for the four teens, aged 17, 16, 16 and 14 in Hot Spring County Juvenile Court based upon first-degree battery charges.  All for juveniles were ordered detained.  Due to Thornton's death later Wednesday afternoon, those charges were amended to second-degree murder early Thursday.

Due to the four suspects being juveniles, their names are not being released. At this time it is anticipated that they will be charged as adults.

Editor's note: This story is courtesy of KATV-TV in Little Rock, Ark. The story has been changed to reflect the correct name of that station.

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