Alleged victim testifies in Miller County rape trial

Miller County Courthouse

A woman who claims she was choked, beaten and sexually assaulted by a man who offered to give her a ride from the Electric Cowboy last year gave emotional testimony to a Miller County jury Tuesday.

Gary Lynn Bevis, 46, faces ten to 40 years or life if convicted of rape. A jury of six men and six women selected Monday heard hours of testimony Tuesday from the woman who claims Bevis brutally assaulted her in the early morning hours of Nov. 1, 2015.

“I told him no, I told him I didn’t want him,” the woman testified. “I told him I wasn’t ready for that.”

Under questioning from Miller County Deputy Prosecutor Connie Mitchell, the woman testified that she was in the parking lot of the Electric Cowboy nightclub at about 1:30 a.m. Nov. 1, 2015, when she decided to accept a friend’s invitation to socialize and have a beer at their Mandeville, Ark., trailer home. The friend and his wife didn’t have room in their truck but Bevis offered to take her there. The woman said she accepted because she believed he was a friend of a friend.

The woman testified Bevis turned at the wrong trailer park in Mandeville and then promised to get to the right one through back roads. She said Bevis instead drove to Mr. D’s nightclub.

Gary Lynn Bevis

James Dansby testified he was working security Halloween night 2015 and was preparing to close when a man and woman he had never seen before entered the business. He said the woman approached him and asked for a ride, stating she was afraid of the man she was with. Dansby said he gave the woman his number after telling her he couldn’t make the long trip to Atlanta, Texas, after working a night shift.

“I said, ‘He looks like a nice enough guy, he’ll take you home,'” Dansby said.

The woman testified she pleaded with Bevis to take her to town but he drove her to a secluded area on Highway 67 in Mandeville where he beat, choked and raped her, upon questioning by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell. Texarkana attorney Kristian Young hammered the alleged victim about inconsistencies in her statement, her alcohol consumption the night of the alleged offense and how the alcohol mixed with prescription drugs she was taking at the time.

Brandy Wilson, who performs sexual assault examinations at a Texarkana hospital, testified the woman had torn skin in her vagina and rectum and that she had bruising and cuts to her face, arms and legs. Young asked Wilson if the injuries the woman sustained could be acquired during consensual sex and Wilson said they could. However, Wilson said the alleged victim told her, in “garbled speech,” that she had been violently raped.

Dansby testified he was driving home when the woman called him and said she’d been raped and beaten. He said he turned his truck around, called 911, and started heading in the direction where the woman might be when he saw the small truck he’d seen Bevis and the woman leave in earlier that morning.

Dansby’s account differed from the alleged victim’s in that he said she called him, while she testified he called her. Dansby said he followed the truck to Ashdown, Ark., until it was pulled over there by local police.

Ashdown police officer Casey Flemming testified his department set up watch on the highway into Ashdown after being alerted a suspect in a maroon Toyota might be traveling their direction. Flemming said he pulled Bevis, who was not wearing a shirt or belt, over in Ashdown and arrested him for driving while intoxicated. Flemming said Bevis’ top pants button was undone as well.

Texarkana, Ark., police officer Lester Colley testified he found the alleged victim on the side of Mandeville Road in Texarkana, Ark., after being dispatched around 6 a.m. Nov. 1, 2015. Colley said the victim pointed out a shirt and a belt with a letter B belt buckle on the ground in the area where she said the assault occurred and told him they belong to the man who attacked her.

Testimony is expected to continue this morning at the Miller County courthouse before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson. Bevis faces 10 to 40 years or life if convicted.

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