Bond hearing held for 63-year-old accused of negligent homicide

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A 63-year-old Ozan, Ark., man accused of being under the influence of methamphetamine when he caused a fatal collision last year on a Miller County highway asked for a reduced bond Tuesday.

Forrest Rector Stewart Jr. appeared before Circuit Judge Brent Haltom on a charge of negligent homicide in the Nov. 2 death of 24-year-old James Crowe. Stewart’s attorneys, Theodis Thompson Jr. and Anthony Biddle of Little Rock, previously entered a plea of not guilty on Stewart’s behalf and filed a motion seeking a reduction in his $100,000 bond.

According to an arrest affidavit, Stewart was traveling north on Highway 67 in a Ford F-150 pickup Nov. 2 in Miller County at about 6:45 a.m. when he crossed the center line and crashed head-on into Crowe’s Hyundai as it traveled south. Crowe was pronounced dead at the scene. Samples of Stewart’s blood and urine collected after the deadly crash allegedly tested positively for methamphetamine.

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The motion for bond reduction filed by Stewart’s attorneys states that he suffers from “several severe medical conditions.” At Tuesday’s hearing, Haltom asked Stewart’s defense why they did not produce any medical records supporting the claim. Haltom agreed to lower Stewart’s bond to $75,000. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell is managing the state’s case. Stewart is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing in March.

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