Man pleads guilty to sexual assault of a child and abuse of a woman’s corpse

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A Texarkana, Arkansas, man was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week in Miller County after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a child, abuse of an endangered or impaired person and abuse of a corpse.

Tony Ken Hooker, 64, received 20-year sentences for sexual assault and abuse of an impaired person and 10 years for abuse of a corpse, the maximum allowed for each crime. As part of a plea bargain, the terms will run concurrently.

Hooker was arrested in 2919 after a relative of his long term girlfriend of approximately 30 years, Debbie Sue Himes, reported that Hooker sexually abused her when she was a child.

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Also living with Hooker and Debbie Sue Himes in two homes Hooker owned in the 1200 block of Martha
Street was Christy Himes, Debbie Himes’ mentally disabled younger sister.

Because Debbie Himes is in a wheelchair, her relatives were concerned that she would be unable to care for Christy Himes if Hooker went to jail for any length of time, according to a probable cause affidavit. Adult Protective Services and Texarkana, Ark., police attempted to conduct a welfare check on Christy Himes and Debbie Himes allegedly refused to let them search either of Hooker’s houses.

Debbie Himes allegedly told investigators that her sister was in Tyler, Texas, and then in Alaska. Investigators determined Christy Himes was not in either location and concern for her safety and wefare increased as family members reported that had not seen her in many months.

Miller County police obtained search warrants for both houses and discovered a decaying corpse on a metal-framed bed in a bedroom of the smaller of two houses Hooker owned. The body was wrapped in plastic and duct tape. The bones appeared to have been chewed on by an animal. Animal waste, trash and clutter, as well as an overpowering odor, were noted in the house where the skeletonized corpse was discovered.

Debbie Himes allegedly admitted to cashing and spending her sister’s disability payments after she died following a seizure. Hooker told investigators he and Debbie Himes lived in the larger of his two houses but said he continued to use a clothes dryer in the same room with the remains.

Hooker estimated that Christy Himes died sometime in 2017 after his mother died. Hooker told detectives that he thought of his smaller house as “Christy’s tomb.”

Charges of abuse of a corpse and abuse of an endangered or impaired person are pending against Debbie Himes. She faces 3 to 10 years if found guilty of abuse of a corpse and 5 to 20 years if found guilty of abuse of an endangered or impaired person.

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