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Rocky Dodson – Prosecutors Move to Dismiss Murder Charge Against High School Principal Charged in Wife’s Murder

Arkansas prosecutors have moved to dismiss murder charges against a former high school principal they had charged with killing his wife. The decision came just weeks after Rocky Dodson’s attorney filed a motion challenging the warrants issued in the case as having no probable cause, arguing that prosecutors had just assumed Dodson caused a “blunt force” injury to Amanda Dodson’s throat on the morning of March 6, 2022, KTLO reported.

The warrants, Shane Wilkinson wrote,  show “no factual basis that Rocky must have caused Amanda’s throat injury and therefore he must have murdered her. The only facts provided are that Amanda Dodson was a chronic alcoholic who was discovered with an unexplained throat injury.”

“This affiant believes that Rocky Brian Dodson was the only person present and who had the ability to inflict the blow on Amanda Dodson that caused her death,” the detective wrote in the affidavit in support of the warrants, Wilkinson wrote.

But in truth, Wilkinson said, the medical examiner did not say that the injury, which was not consistent with strangulation, was caused by a human. The manner of death on the autopsy report was listed “undetermined,” not homicide, as the doctor was awaiting toxicology reports. Those reports found that Amanda Dobson’s blood alcohol level was  0.468, a potentially fatal level.

After the reports were returned, the manner of death remained “undetermined.”

“The simplest and most likely explanation for Amanda’s death is that she was extremely intoxicated and fell down, as extremely intoxicated individuals frequently do, and struck her throat on some object such as a countertop,” Wilkinson said in his motion.

Rocky Dodson told investigators that he awoke at 2:30 a.m. that morning to let his wife in the house, and she was drunk. He went back to bed, leaving her on the sofa. When he awoke at about 9 a.m., he found her “gray and unresponsive,” as CrimeOnline reported. He was placed on administrative leave from his job as principal and basketball coach at Omaha High School and later resigned.

Boone County District Attorney David Ethredge told KYTV that prosecutors made the decision to drop the charges because the “undetermined” ruling made it harder for them to meet the burden of proof.

But Wilkinson told Law&Crime in a statement that the “undetermined” ruling was made in May 2022.

“That much has been known for 736 days,” he said. “This is not an 11th hour change of circumstance. The trial is set in July, so the facts finally had to be acknowledged.”

It’s not clear when the judge will rule on the motion. Dodson has been out on bail since 2022.

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