Bella Vista (AR) Cop Brackney Charged With Manslaughter

By | April 20, 2010


NOTICE: There will be a memorial service for James Ahern in Omaha on Saturday 6/19/2010.

The memorial will be held at Creighton Prep Chapel, 7400 Western Avenue, Omaha, NE. The service starts at 10:00 AM. There will be time given during the mass for friends to get up and talk about Mr. Ahern. This service was set up by some of Mr. Ahern’s friends in Omaha since there was no funeral service there. All of Mr. Ahern’s friends, family, and supporters are welcome to join in celebrating his life.

by Brian A. Wilkins
4/20/2010 (updated 6:00pm)


Brackney Ahern
Not sure whether to celebrate or scream judicial fraud. But on this joyous 4/20, Operation Nation is happy to report that killer cop Coleman Brackney, of Bella Vista, AR, will be charged with felony manslaughter. This disposition comes exactly 90 days after Brackney shot and killed Mr. James Patrick Ahern, 41, following an alleged “police chase.” Benton County prosecutor Van Stone decided on the charge based on the dash-cam video and Brackney’s explanation as to the events.

Brackney turned himself in this afternoon and, for whatever reason, was released without bond (on a manslaughter charge). It’s also being reported that Brackney was fired from the Bella Vista Police Dept, so I guess his paid vacation is over.

We’ve also learned that Ms. Carol Owens, the former fiancee of the now-deceased Mr. Ahern, was pulled over by Bella Vista Police on April 10 at 1:30 a.m. She was told to pull onto a gravel road, in a dark , deserted area, which likely made her instantly think she was going to be murdered, just like her fiancee. The cop accused Ms. Owens of being drunk, but she does not drink because she is diabetic. Bella Vista Police Chief Ken Farmer denied the officer knew who he was pulling over. But come on: what is the population of Bella Vista again…16,000? There have been at least eight more citizens who have told us of similar harrassment by police.

The manslaughter charge against Brackney carries a sentencing range of 3-10 years in prison. The arraignment is set for June 7. I’d love to see this case go to trial, just to hear Brackney’s excuse for murdering Mr. Ahern. But some sort of plea agreement is almost inevitable. We won’t speculate (this time), that is until we’ve reviewed Arkansas laws and precedent. In the meantime, here is the text of Arkansas manslaughter statutes.


5-10-104. Manslaughter.

(a) A person commits manslaughter if:

(1) (A) The person causes the death of another person under circumstances that would be murder, except that he or she causes the death under  the influence of extreme emotional disturbance for which there is reasonable excuse.

B. The reasonableness of the excuse is determined from the viewpoint of a person in the actor’s situation under the circumstances as  the actor believed them to be;

(2) The person purposely causes or aids another person to commit suicide;
(3) The person recklessly causes the death of another person; or
(4) Acting alone or with one (1) or more persons:

(A) The person commits or attempts to commit a felony; and
B. In the course of and in furtherance of the felony or in immediate flight from the felony:

(i) The person or an accomplice negligently causes the death of any person; or
(ii) Another person who is resisting the felony or flight causes the death of any person.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution under subsection (a)(4) of this section
for an offense in which the defendant was not the only
participant that the defendant:
(1) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, command, induce,
procure, counsel, or aid the homicidal act’s commission;
(2) Was not armed with a deadly weapon;
(3) Reasonably believed that no other participant was armed with a deadly weapon; and
(4) Reasonably believed that no other participant intended to engage in conduct
which could result in death or serious physical injury.

(c) Manslaughter is a Class C felony.
History. Acts 1975, No. 280, § 1504;

We’ll update as we learn more.


Bella (AR) Police Thugs Murder James Patrick Ahern; Trying To Cover It Up  (last updated 2/15/2010)

12 thoughts on “Bella Vista (AR) Cop Brackney Charged With Manslaughter

  1. Joe

    If the prosecutor makes any type of deal with out the family knowing and let this cop slide, it will then be time to have the family go after the Police Dept and the state. This police officer needs to pay for murdering James P Ahern for no reason.Maybe be 10 years would show that nobody is above the law including the police.Bella Vista police need to step up there training for there police officers and not hire someone because he was a rent a cop a few years.

  2. Preston

    I had a flat this past march in bella vista. When I just finished changing my flat here comes the police. It was late so it was dark.
    I walk up to the police and tell them everything was fine. I got yell at by one of the officers. He yelled “goto the light” and pointed his flashlight on the ground away from him about two times and put his hand on his gun the other officer when to check my plates. I never had something happen to me in my life like that.
    After it was all done the officer smiled at me and said bye.
    I was a little afraid after knowing what happened not too long ago.

  3. John Lewis

    Vacation time is over after 4 months? This is on-going for north West Arkansas, and people need to take a stand and fight back. How? Hold the sheriff, Chief that hire these slugs. Protect and serve? Thugs need to be weeded out so the public can feel safe. Until we hold those in charge accountable there will be no changes!

  4. Marc

    On March 7th I was assaulted by a Bentonville cop ( John Woodham ) in
    Bella Vista at the light on Trafauger
    and 71 he was off duty and it was covered up by the
    Bella Vista Police who’s officer saw exactly what took place !
    COP RAGE happens more often than the corts and law enforcement will admit to !!
    Yes we need to clean house here in Bella Vista and it starts at the top !
    This was once a great place to live now their are allot of people young and old
    who are mad as hell.
    Remember you could end up on the wrong side of a cop in rage ! they have guns and tazers hard have shown they will use them according to law or NOT !
    Cops that lie for cops need to be dealt with also by the courts !!!!
    Its all to sad !

  5. Amy

    So true Joe ! It is good to hear this news, and yes, the family should continue to ensure justice ! None of us are above the law or have the right to treat people the way James was teated ! Although we cannot get James back, May justice be served here fo this horrendous crime !!

  6. Carol

    I read the following statement to the Bella Vista City Council on 04/26/2010

    Common sense would suggest Mayor Anderson and Chief Farmer viewed the dash cam recording in Coleman Brackney’s cruiser and heard Mr. Brackney’s dishonest and self serving statements within hours of Mr. Brackney killing James Ahern.
    With that thought in mind I suggest Mr. Brackney should have immediately been suspended from the Bella Vista police department for his dishonest statements. Instead he was put on paid administrative leave for 90 days. You Mayor Anderson and you Chief Farmer rewarded Mr. Brackney for his dishonesty.

    In my humble opinion you Mayor Anderson and you Chief Farmer should immediately vacate the offices you hold in this community. You have proven yourselves unfit to hold these offices by your actions in this case.

    The community deserves to have a mayor and a police chief who are above reproach. We deserve honorable and honest men in these offices.

    Thank you for your time.

    That concludes my statment to the Bella Vista City Council. There are some interesting opinion columns that were written as a result of this statement. One even said it was the Mayor’s and Police Chiefs ‘golden opportunity’ to discuss this in an open forum. The reaction from these men was ‘NO COMMENT’.

    I am also working on a new law for the state of Arkansas. I won’t go into details at this time, but hopefully it will help prevent anyone else being killed the way my darling Jim was killed.

  7. Carol

    Joe, the prosecutor CANNOT accept a plea deal with Brackney unless the family is notified. Interesting now you want to get involved in getting justice for Jim. It is about time.

  8. Carol

    NOTICE: There will be a memorial service for James Ahern in Omaha on Saturday 6/19/2010.

    The memorial will be held at Creighton Prep Chapel, 7400 Western Avenue, Omaha, NE. The service starts at 10:00 AM. There will be time given during the mass for friends to get up and talk about Jimmy. I was asked to set this up by some of his friends in Omaha since there was no funeral mass for Jimmy in Omaha only an internment. All of Jim’s friends and family are welcome to join us in celebrating Jim’s life.

  9. carol

    Would you be interested in talking about your experience and even putting it in writing? Your help would be appreciated.

  10. Carol

    Would you be interested in talking about your experience and even putting it in writing? We need people like you to come forward and help us.


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