Leader Blues

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

TOP STORY > >Governor says no to Stocks

By JOAN McCOY
Leader staff writer

Gov. Mike Beebe has denied clemency for a Furlow man who asked the governor to reduce his life sentence for killing his mother, father and younger sister to a sentence in years so he might someday be eligible for parole.

Heath Stocks’ petition was denied Monday. Matt Decample, spokesman for the governor, said no explanations are given when requests are denied.

Stocks, 31, pleaded guilty to killing his family in January 1997. This was his second request to have his sentence commuted.

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee also turned him down.

Stocks is incarcerated at the Tucker Maximum Security Unit near Pine Bluff.

He was sentenced without a trial to life without the possibility of parole.

But he testified later during the victim impact hearing for convicted rapist Charles A. “Jack” Walls III of Lonoke that he was under the influence of Walls and killed his parents and sister because Walls told him to.

Stocks told Judge Lance Hanshaw that Walls had sexually abused him since he was 10 years old. He said Walls always said that if you had a problem you should kill it. And when he told Walls that he told his mother about their relationship, Walls told him to “take care of the problem.”

Walls, a Boy Scout leader who pleaded guilty to raping five boys under 14 years of age and no contest to raping Stocks, was sentenced to life plus 90 years. Walls is serving his sentence at the East Arkansas Regional Unit at Brickeys in Lee County.