County jail begins accepting inmates from Madison County
The Carroll County Detention Center in Berryville has begun accepting a limited number of inmates from Madison County, chief deputy Maj. Jerry Williams of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office confirmed last week.
As of Thursday, Dec. 16, Williams said seven Madison County inmates were being held in the local jail.
“We’re taking the violent offenders,” Williams said, noting that individuals arrested on misdemeanors and charges not involving violence are typically cited and released.
Madison County does not have its own detention center. Until recently, Madison County had housed its inmates at the Washington County jail in Fayetteville. Washington County canceled that agreement, however, because of overcrowding and a shortage of staff.
The Carroll County jail has also been affected by a staff shortage, with Williams reporting last week that the jail is at half staff. Should that situation become more dire, Williams said, the jail administrator and members of the sheriff’s office command staff will begin working shifts as detention officers.
Among the Madison County inmates now being held in Carroll County are a pair of accused murderers — Hunter Chenoweth of De Queen and Samuel Simmons of Huntsville.
Chenoweth, 23, is charged with three counts of capital murder in the slayings of his mother, sister and stepfather, whose bodies were discovered in a home in Wesley — between Elkins and Huntsville — in February.
Simmons, 45, is awaiting trial on two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted capital murder. Prosecutors say Smmons fatally shot his mother and uncle and also shot his father in May.
The next court appearances for both Chenoweth and Simmons are scheduled for May 8 in Madison County Circuit Court in Huntsville.