Testimony to begin Tuesday in Miller County rape trial

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UPDATE – Gary Lynn Bevis was found not guilty.

Testimony is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning at the Miller County courthouse in the trial of a Horatio, Ark., man accused of attacking and raping a woman he met at the Electric Cowboy last November.

The defense, represented by Texarkana attorneys Danny Cook and Kristian Young, and the state, represented by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell, selected six men and six women Monday afternoon to serve as the jury which will decide if Gary Lynn Bevis, 46, is guilty of rape.

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A Texarkana woman told investigators she met Bevis through an acquaintance while socializing at the Electric Cowboy in Texarkana, Ark., Nov. 1, 2015, a search warrant affidavit states. The woman said she needed a ride home and Bevis allegedly offered to give her one. After the two left the Electric Cowboy, they stopped at Mr. D’s nightclub in Texarkana, Ark., but the business was closing.

While Bevis spoke with employees of the club, a bartender told the woman they would have to leave because the business was shutting down for the night. The woman asked the bartender for a ride and stated that Bevis made her uneasy and concerned for her safety. The bartender could not leave but he did exchange phone numbers with the woman and promised to check on her later. The bartender told Texarkana, Ark., detectives he watched Bevis drive away with the woman in a red or maroon truck with loud exhaust.

The woman claims Bevis sexually assaulted and strangled her in his truck before continuing to assault her on the ground outside. The woman said Bevis threatened to kill her if she continued to resist.

The woman managed to make contact with the bartender while back inside Bevis’ truck. Bevis allegedly shoved her out of the truck and drove hastily away. The bartender told detectives the woman told him she had been beaten and raped and was unsure of where she was.

The bartender began driving toward the area where he thought the woman might be and caught sight of the red truck. The bartender called 911 and followed the truck as it headed toward Ashdown, Ark. The truck was stopped by officers in Ashdown and Bevis was arrested by authorities there for drunk driving. According to the affidavit, his blood alcohol level was .09.

A Texarkana, Ark., police detective found the injured woman in the 4700 block of Mandeville Road. The woman pointed out a shirt and a belt with a letter B on the buckle on the ground which she said belonged to Bevis. When Bevis was arrested in Little River County for DWI, he was not wearing a shirt or a belt.

Bevis was convicted of first degree sexual abuse in Miller County in 2001. According to court records, Bevis touched a girl under 14 multiple times during 1998 and 1999. He completed a four-year probation.

Bevis posted bond on a $100,000 bail Nov. 5, 2015. He faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison if convicted of rape.

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