HI restaurant owner faces sexual abuse charges in Illinois

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The owner of a Holiday Island restaurant was being held at the Carroll County Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon after refusing to waive extradition to Illinois to face felony sexual abuse charges.

Delbert "Butch" Phillips, owner of The Ozark Kitchen barbecue restaurant in Holiday Island, was initially arrested by a Carroll County Sheriff's Office deputy in downtown Eureka Springs on Thursday, March 12, on a felony warrant for allegedly violating the Arkansas Hot Check Law.

The sheriff's office then learned that Phillips was wanted in Douglas County, Illinois, on two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office warned the CCSO that Phillips may be armed and dangerous.

Douglas County authorities indicated that they would only extradite Phillips from neighboring states, according to a CCSO press release.

CCSO Chief Deputy Maj. George Frye and Prosecuting Attorney Tony Rogers both made contact with their counterparts in Douglas County to determine whether Douglas County would consider extraditing Phillips from Arkansas, but Phillips was released on bond from the local jail before an agreement could be reached to extradite him to Illinois.

On Tuesday, March 17, Douglas County authorities contacted the CCSO and advised the sheriff's office that they had reviewed the charges against Phillips and would extradite him from any state.

"Due to the seriousness of the charges leveled against (Phillips), the Carroll County Sheriff's Office made it a priority to locate and arrest him," the CCSO news release said.

Deputies and officers from the Eureka Springs Police Department searched for Phillips for several hours, according to the news release, before a deputy located Phillips and arrested him in Eureka Springs.

On Wednesday, Phillips appeared before Judge Greg Thurman in Berryville District Court, where he refused to waive extradition. Thurman set a $10,000 fugitive bond on Phillips, with a hearing set for April 4.

Douglas County Undersheriff Greg Dixon said Wednesday afternoon that the charges stemmed from an incident that allegedly occurred on Aug. 14, 2010, at Rockome Gardens in rural Arthur, Ill., an Amish community. A Douglas County deputy took a report on the incident, which involved a juvenile from Cassville, Mo.

The juvenile and the juvenile's mother later were interviewed by a child forensic interviewer in Joplin, Mo., who forwarded information from the interview to the state's attorney in Douglas County, Dixon said. The state's attorney then determined that there was probable cause to file a warrant for Phillips' arrest.

Dixon credited "outstanding police work" by the CCSO for Phillips' arrest.

"They just have bent over backwards to work with us," Dixon said.

Because Phillips told a Carroll County deputy during his initial arrest that he was a former law enforcement officer in Oklahoma and had identification to that effect in his possession during his second arrest, he was being kept in segregated housing at the county jail for his protection.

Douglas County is in central Illinois, approximately 160 miles south of Chicago and 80 miles east of Springfield.

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