Former Police Chief Pleads Not Guilty To Murder

BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (UATV)–Former Gateway police chief Grant Hardin pleaded not guilty in Benton County Circuit Court to capital murder in the death of James Appleton.

On Feb.  23, 2017, Appleton, 59, was found dead with a gunshot to the face and head.

Hardin, 48, was identified as the alleged shooter by the victim’s nephew, Rodney Cook, according to court documents obtained by the University of Arkansas’ UATV.

The documents stated that when questioned by the police Hardin remained silent.

UATV spoke with several people who said the shooting has affected the community:

“At this point I think it is just losing trust within the community.”

“It’s not a healthy environment for the people afterward — after all the backlash.”

“I feel like it would affect the security of the community and how safe they feel with law enforcement.”

Evidence shows that blood found in Hardin’s vehicle is consistent with the blood and material found inside Appleton’s truck, according to the court documents.

Story by UATV Reporter Lauren Dedmon

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