Trial dates set for 3 charged in connection to child’s death
Trial dates have been set for three people charged in connection with the 2011 death of a two-year-old Glenwood boy.
Ruby Lee Justice, 65, of Glenwood is scheduled to go to trial Thursday, Dec. 6. She is charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution for allegedly hiding her son, Aaron Benji Shields, 36, also of Glenwood, who is charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of Karsen D. Strickland.
A Feb. 4 pretrial date was set Monday for Shields in Pike County Circuit Court. Shields recently underwent a mental evaluation which determined he can assist in his defense during court proceedings.
A Feb. 4 pretrial date was also set for McKayla Wood, 23, of Glenwood. Wood is the mother of Strickland and former girlfriend of Shields, and she is charged with permitting the abuse of a minor.
Strickland died the night of Sept. 12, 2001 of internal trauma at a home he and Shields shared with Wood.
The investigation into Strickland’s death started on Sept. 13, 2011 after the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the child’s death to be a homicide. The child was not breathing when officers arrived at the home shared by Shields and Wood. Strickland was taken by ambulance to a Hot Springs hospital where he was pronounced dead.
After an extensive investigation, Arkansas State Police agents and the Glenwood Police Department obtained a second-degree murder arrest warrant for Shields. A search warrant was also obtained and executed on March 29 at Justice’s home near Glenwood where Shields was allegedly found hiding and arrested without incident.
Shields has been held in the Pike County Jail on a $1 million bond since his arrest. Wood’s bond was reduced Monday from $150,000 to $50,000.