Bella Vista (AR) Police Thugs Murder James Patrick Ahern; Trying To Cover It Up

By | January 22, 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.

UPDATED 4/20/2010: Brackney Charged With Manslaughter


UPDATED 2/15/2010: Brackney’s Wife Leaves Him

One things is certain about thug killer Brackney…he married a classy, righteous woman. I’ve never met her, but if rumors are true that she left the killer cop after the murder of Mr. Ahern, that is all the information I need. Who knows if it was all the media and internet attention the story is getting, or just an ethical move. Since she left him, a Bella Vista resident told us that Brackney is enjoying his paid vacation, drinking in several bars across the border in nearby Missouri.

Got to give yet another Op-Nat reader props for digging up more about the Bella Vista Police. “Gulf War Vet” brought to our attention the story of Mr. Joseph Erin Hamley, the young man who as murdered in cold-blood by Arkansas State Police thug Larry Norman on March 7, 2006. Mr. Hamley, who was unarmed and had cerebral palsy, was murdered by thug Norman less than one minute after Norman arrived on the scene, which was already well in control by several other cops. Thug Norman was ultimately indicted, but here’s the catch: he was convicted of “negligent homicide,” a MISDEMEANOR. He was ultimately sentenced to a mere 90 days in jail. And to add more insult to Mr. Hamley’s death is that Norman got a 10-day sabbatical from jail during his sentence to “get his affairs together.”

So if – and that’s a HUGE “IF” – Brackney is even charged, it will be for a misdemeanor, based on Arkansas precedent. Only in America…and Russia, China, and North Korea.

UPDATED 2/10/2010: Ahern Shot In The Back?

As more information pours into us about this murder, the more
disgusting it gets.

Two sources have told us that the ambulance report from when Mr. Ahern’s body was removed from his car indicated he was shot in the back. It appears Mr. Ahern was trying to get out of his car via the passenger-side door, maybe to get away from a killer cop (Brackney) with an itchy trigger finger. This is also the reason no coroner report or dash-cam video has been released. Not sure how the “car as a deadly weapon” excuse will fly if this turns out to be the case.

Another emailer pointed out to us that after a housefire in Bella Vista killed five people last week, the fire department released information regarding the investigation almost immediately. The difference is that when you do not have to coordinate lies government bodies can immediately release information.

The longer Chief Farmer draws this thing out, the more people will have to rely on speculation. Own up to your responsibilities, Chief. We realize you are new to the position, but that is no excuse. But you are a COP (Constitutionally-protected), so your behavior thus far is expected.

UPDATED 2/9/2010: Ahern Murder Brings Up Memories Of Kevin Ives and Don Henry

Anybody who believes the State of Arkansas is not corrupt and will not go as far as killing American citizens to cover up something they shouldn’t be doing only need to recall the murders of two Bryant, AR teenagers, Mr. Kevin Ives and Mr. Don Henry, back on August 23, 1987. The two young men were murdered after they witnessed drugs being dropped from an airplane in nearby Alexander, AR.

The drugs were en route to Mena, Arkansas, about 170 miles south of Bella Vista. Three U.S. presidents, including former Democratic Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, have been indicated as major players in the smuggling operation headquartered at the Mena airport, which is reportedly still a hotbed for cocaine and heroin smuggling (we all know how Bill Clinton liked to party).

But Mr. Henry and Mr. Ives are only two…of at least 30 (and probably more) people who were murdered by Arkansas government officials in the subsequent 12 years, because they had information which could unravel the entire operation.

The Mena Connection is a documentary that tells the entire story. Watch below.

UPDATED 2/9/2010: The Scott Vanatta Factor

A savvy commenter to this story named “Mike” brought to light the fact the Bella Vista Police Dept. hired a lying, cheating cadet named Scott Vanatta in 2008. Vanatta was caught cheating on a police academy exam, and was initially punished with a two year suspension before he could re-apply to the academy. But former Bella Vista Police Chief, Jim Wozniak, went in front of the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training on July 10, 2008, and successfully begged the Commission to reverse the two-year penalty and allow him to hire Vanatta. Read the 13-pages of back-and-forth arguments here.

Among some of the most notable quotes from Wozniak, in support of Vanatta include: “Black balling Scott Vanatta for two years is like giving him the death penalty.” I bet Mr. Ahern would have gladly accepted a two-year probation sentence as opposed to the REAL death penalty he was given.

Wozniak continued, “The fact that he was dismissed and the fact that he will have to start over is enough. He has to live with that every day.” Mr. Ahern cannot LIVE with anything anymore.

The lying, cheating Vanatta has now been on the force since 2008. Wozniak retired from the Bella Vista PD in September 2009, and Ken Farmer took over shortly thereafter. Congressman John Boozman, R-Arkansas, also praised Wozniak right before he retired.

Brackney, Vannatta, and Republican Boozman are all you must know about the integrity (or more fittingly LACK THEREOF) of the Bella Vista PD and the state police “investigations” which are supposedly taking place now. We predicted it would be 10-16 weeks before they reveal any information about the murder of Mr. Ahern. It has been three weeks as of today. In other words, do not expect the final draft of their lies to be revealed until late March at the earliest.

UPDATED 2/3/2010: Vigil For James Patrick Ahern

Friends and family of the man murdered by a Bella Vista cop two weeks ago will gather at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Bella Vista on Friday, February 12. The church is located at 1 St. Bernard Lane in Bella Vista. For more information (the time), the phone number for the church is 479-855-9069.

As of today, Bella Vista Police have still released no details about the murder, nor pressed any charges against the killer.

UPDATED 1/28/2010: Friends of Mr. Ahern Being Targeted By Bella Vista Police?

Several individuals have informed us that they are now being targeted by local police because they have spoken out about the murder of their friend and brother. This is standard protocol for police departments all across the country, when they are conjuring a story to cover murders under color of law. One resident said Bella Vista Police have been circling their home at night, and they may have to move for the sake of their children.

The police chief still insists the investigation is “ongoing” and has nothing new to report.

UPDATED 1/25/2010: Bella Vista Police Confirm Killer Cop’s Name


As first reported by the OP-NAT EYE on Saturday, Bella Vista Police Chief Ken Farmer has now confirmed to a few OTHER Arkansas news sources today that the killer cop’s name is in fact Brackney. They are referring to him as, “Cpl. Coleman Brackney.” Seems he had no choice but to disclose this information after we already did.

Now if Farmer will only confirm the excuse for the murder which is currently being concocted by his department (see below).

UPDATED 1/25/2010:
Bella Vista Police Will Use The Proverbial “Car As A Deadly Weapon” Excuse

Though Bella Vista Police claim to be new to these sorts of investigations and not accustomed to them [thus the protracted time-frame], they sure know how to use one of the most common excuses police departments across the country use to justify murder of American citizens

Sources have told us that Bella Vista Police will say Mr. Ahern “used his car as a deadly weapon,” so was thus “armed,” thus police thug Brackney “feared for his life.”

The police have yet to publicly confirm (or deny) that Brackney is the officer involved.

UPDATED 1/23/2010: Killer Cop’s Name is “Officer Brackney”

This, according to a source close to Mr. Ahern [name redacted]. This information was obtained from another witness who was at the scene, but ordered to leave the scene by police before recognizing the killer cop. We’ve also now confirmed there is in fact an officer named “Brackney” who works for the Bella Vista Police. [Carol, after seeing a photo of the killer cop, does not believe Brackney is the same cop who once insulted her fiancee….UPDATED 1/25/2010]. We will continue to update the story as more information comes in.

UPDATED 1/23/2010: James Ahern’s Fiancee Calls Out The Killer Bella Vista Police

Again, this cold-blooded, premeditated murder has been obvious since news first broke of it happen
ing. But now Mr. Ahern’s fiancee, who wants her identity protected (don’t blame her, considering the blatant thuggery of that “police” department down there), said her fiancee was arrested for DUI earlier in the week, and likely fled police to avoid being arrested again. Last time I check though, a DUI is not an offense punishable by death.

Watch a report from KFSM TV-5 News in Fort Smith, AR.

UPDATED 1/22/2010: Mr. Ahern Was Dealing With The Death Of Both His Parents

We have learned that Mr. Ahern’s mother and father both passed away within a six month period this past year. We do not know how or any of the circumstances surrounding his parents’ deaths. However, it is safe to say Mr. Ahern was likely very distraught, as losing ONE parent is difficult. Of course, the police thugs who murdered him aren’t even human, and would have likely laughed before shooting and killing Mr. Ahern if they were aware of the situation he was in.

As of today, Bella Vista Police are still trying to get their lies straight.

by Brian A. Wilkins



All you need to know is this: dash-cam video caught the entire incident on tape, yet Bella Vista Police refused to release it to the public. And as you know, when dash-cam video is favorable to police thugs, they release it immediately so cop-suckers can stroke them as heroes.

Instead, Bella Vista Police chief Ken Farmer says that what happened was, “an officer -involved shooting…that resulted in the death of an individual” and continued, “we’re not going to sacrifice quality [in the investigation] for speed.”

In other words, they need more time to get their lies straight.

The murder happened Wednesday in Bella Vista – a small town of about 17,000 in northwest Arkansas – when 41-year-old Mr. James Patrick Ahern apparently crashed his car into a ditch, following an alleged “police chase.” Moments later, a Bella Vista police thug, whose name is being protected by the city, jumped out of his car, started yelling at Mr. Ahern for a few seconds and kicking his car windows, before opening fire through Mr. Ahern’s windows; killing him instantly. The police thug was rewarded with a paid vacation (aka “paid administrative leave”).

Watch a report from 40/29 News in Fort Smith/Rogers AR:

The witness in the video, Mr. David Whitney, went even further, telling another news source that the cop, “may have overrreacted,” and that, “I would like to know what [the victim] did wrong to be shot and killed.” Another witness, Donna Martinez, said she all of a sudden just heard a bunch of gunshots. She thought she lived in an area which this kind of stuff does not happen, according to KFSM News.

There are apparently kangaroo investigations being conducted by the Arkansas State Police and the Bella Vista Police. However, we all know these investigations will last 10-16 weeks, with a conclusion that the police thug was “justified in his actions.”

Mr. Ahern had no family in Arkansas, but its being reported that family members in Omaha, NE have been contacted. It is pretty obvious Mr. Ahern was unarmed, as the police would have made this public in the very minutes after the murder to “justify” the killing.

We will keep updating this story as we learn more and/or if we can contact any family of Mr. Ahern. Our thoughts are with the Ahern family.

84 thoughts on “Bella Vista (AR) Police Thugs Murder James Patrick Ahern; Trying To Cover It Up

  1. Jim

    James played for our local semi-pro football team. He was tough as nails and had the heart of a lion. Our team will miss him. He will always remain on our roster and you can see some photos of him at the website

  2. shannon

    We knew jimmy very well.He was an everyday part of our lives. To us he was Diesel, our buddy our friend our brother We loved him very much and nothing could be more terrible than having him murderd like this.We love you buddy and miss you very much . Until we meet on the other side you will be forever in our hearts.

  3. Cory

    Ahern is one of the greatest guys I have ever gotten a chance to play football with. He is a fun loving guy. He made me a better person and helped me out a lot. Great guy! I wish I was half the man he was. He will be dearly missed and truely loved. I will never step on a football field again without thoughts of him in my head and him in my heart!

  4. carol

    Jim Ahern was my fiance, we had been engaged for 7 months. Yes we had our problems but what couple does not. Jim was a generous, funny a deeply spiritual man. Yes he went into a deep depression after his mother died. This depression sent him back to drinking almost daily. He was ready to do somthing about his drinking and had planned to go to Omaha for a few months to coach soccer. He of course planned to come home on the weekends to me. If this solution did not work he was ready to go into rehab to stop drinking. He was a loving man and my best friend in addition to being my fiances. We loved each other as only soul mates can love each other. I have let Barney Fife (the sheriff of Bella Vista) know that I have sent letters to The Governor, The Attorney Generals office and the ACCLU. The eye witness said the gun happy cop went up to the window of Jim’s car and fired five shots. The cop then told Jim to get out of the car and show his hands. Of course by then Jim was dead and was not able to obey the cops orders. I am not going to let these keystone cops get away with this. The cops have treated me very badly. I called that morning and asked if I could spend some time with Jim before he was transported to Little Rock for the autopsy. They told me I could see him after the autopsy. I don’t know if you have ever seen anyone after an autopty but it is nothing you ever want to experience. I asked for his cell phone so I could contact his friends and again I was refused. I will be going to the police station with Jim’s brother tomorrow to get his personal effects. I am not afraid of these idiot cops and if they try to pull anything on me I will own the Village of Bella Vista. I have never broken any laws and have no intention of doing so. They will have NO reason to bother me other than the fact that I will not let them get away with this horrible act. I have lost the love of my life for no good reason. So get ready I am coming for you Barney Fife. I will use every legal means at my disposal to make sure these people pay. One more thing at no time did Jim ever carry a firearm or other weapon. When we got together I had a 22 semi-automatic. Jim asked me to get rid of this firearm and I got rid of it immediately. He did not like firearms of any kind. He WAS NOT armed when he was shot down. He may have been drunk but he was not armed. I too want to see the camera in the cops car and I want to know why he did what he did. I know Jim would have gone quietly and peacefully with this cop when asked. He was not a violent man. He was the best man I have ever known and he will be missed by me and all of his friends and family. I find it interesting the police came to my home to tell me Jim was dead, but then negelected to mention he and I were engaged in their media release. Sounds like more of a cover up to me.

    Jim I miss you every minute.

  5. Robert Salnicky

    My uncle was a good man!!!! He taught me to never give up never back down and never give in, And always told me i was his winner he also told me i was the best and i was his favorite nephew. i was known as bobby to him only my family called me that name. He will be greatly miss. To my uncle aka the disel aka the wildman and the name i give him aka the freight train I promise you i will never give up as god as my witness and you WE WILL FIGHT TO THE END TO GET ALL THE INFORMATION! call me jr aka disel,the wildman, the freight train!!

    I Love You and i know i will see you again!

    Your nephew
    Robert Salnicky

  6. Garnet McHenry

    I am his fiance’s niece and I had the honor of meeting Jim over the Summer. I called him Uncle Jim. The short time I know Jim he was a breath of fresh air and very loving man. He loved my Aunt and my Aunt loved him. Such a senseless death! I hope that justice will be served in this case. A message needs to be sent to these over zealous police officers that they are not above the law and cannot do whatever they want! Police officers are not God they are just human beings like the rest of us and do not have the right to take a life. I believe that there should be an outside resource handling this investigation other than just the Bella Vista Police or Arkansas State Police. I believe that the States Attorney Generals Office should be overseeing this investigation. I know my Aunt will never give up the fight until REAL JUSTICE is served in this matter. Rest in Peace Jim. We all love you.

  7. Dean Russo

    I live in Bella Vista, and make my living here. I am not at all surprised by this uncalled for deadly excessive force used by the Bella Vista gestapo. I have had a few run ins with them. One night my girlfriend and I were heading home from a night out. We had an argument and she wanted out of the vehicle, I pulled over let her out,and got out myself. I proceeded to walk home. I got more than a mile down the road when an officer pulled up put his lights on got out of the car and told me to get down on my face, as there are no sidewalks I refused. He promptly threatened to taise me if I did not comply. I asked him what was the problem and why i should get on the ground in 2 foot tall, wet from dew grass? He again said on your knees or I’ll taise you. I was wearing shorts, sandals and had left my shirt in the vehicle. I was just walking down the street… Nice going BV gestapo!!!!!!!!!

  8. Tim

    Ahren I will miss you buddy, you were a good man, a man of strenght,love,kindness. I will always remember you for the rest of my life. You had the biggest heart, and a endless passion not just for football or soccer but for life. Seeing you everyday at practice and see you play every play, every down with a smile on your face, you reminded me every day how lucky I am to play this game. You brought a child like love to every situation you came across, I’m the luckiest man alive to have shared the football field with you, to have sweated and bled by your side. Most importantly I’m the luckiest man in the world to have called you my friend.You did not deserve this, and you will be miss greatly.I want to give my sorrow and apologies to the family and loved ones of the wonderful man.
    Rest in peace James, You are now in paradise,and you will live in the hearts and minds of everyone in whom you touched including mine, goodbye brother.

  9. Aaron

    Carol – I am sorry for your loss. My name is Aaron Nolan and I work at KNWA in Fayetteville, with the name of the officer being released, would you mind sitting down with me for an interview? [email protected]

  10. carol

    I have to correct something. After I saw a picture of the cop who killed my fiancee I realized he was not the cop who called Jim a loser. I was mistaken and have never seen this man before. I also spoke to the person who owned the bar where Jim was hanging out that night and she stated he had only had 3 beers that night. He left the club at 7:30 PM and called me at 7:46 PM, he was killed around 8 PM. I want to know what happened in that 30 minutes. I went to the location where Jim was killed and realized he was on his way home when this happened. I told him if he was drunk not to come here, but he was on his way home because he was not drunk. If he had made it home I would have realized he was sober. The man was 6’1″ tall and weighted 270 pounds, so 3 beers in a few hours would not make him drunk. I miss you Jimmy and I love you and will love you forever.

  11. Mike

    Bella Vista has made some poor hiring decisions for their police dept. They currently have an active patrolman Scott Vanatta, who was expelled from the police academy for cheating (he possessed an illegal copy of test answers, and gave the info to another cadet..) This officer has shown from his past actions that he has no credibility and is not to be trusted.. Not sure if he was at the scene of this shooting, but this is an example of the type of officer that is patrolling the city..

    God help us…

    Please see page 12 of the Arkansas Law Enforcement meeting minutes for some background on this. It is public knowledge and was widely reported by the local news as well…,%202008%20Commission%20Meeting%20Minutes.pdf

  12. Mike

    The city of Bella Vista has made poor decisions in the hiring of its police officers. They currently have as an active patrolman,(Scott Vanatta) who was expelled from the police academy for possessing a stolen copy of exam answers(he possessed and distributed a copy) Not sure if he was at the scene of this shooting, but it is an example of the type of officers that this city has patrolling the streets.

    The officers expulsion from academy is a matter of public record. numerous local news outlets reported it, and the minutes from the Ark. law enforcement commission are on the link below; page 11, item VII,%202008%20Commission%20Meeting%20Minutes.pdf

  13. chas

    I had a business relationship with James. I have been trying very hard to remain level headed with this. But questions keep coming to me. Why was the cop trying to break the window when it was a convertible with the top down? Look at the video. If the cops try to say the car was being used as a weapon, it will not hold up. The ground was wet from rain and the car was off the side of the road, in the trees, and the cop car was angled to the back of the Miata that James was driving. In my opinion, it was not coming back on the road. In the witness accounts, they said there were gun shots, than verbal commands. That is the wrong order. Verbal comes first and get the suspect to respond. And don’t they have tasers?I just want the facts.

  14. Blake Webster

    To my best friend Jimmy~
    I just heard the news today… Thank you Carol for all that you have done and tried to do as far as making Jimmy settle down and be a better man. I know that Jimmy would never carry a firearm. I have known Jimmy,aka Diesel for over 20 years. He would give you the shirt off of his back, he had a heart of gold. It did not matter how much he was in trouble or what he was facing he always had a smile on his face and was happy go lucky. I admired his care free attitude and he was very spiritual, and had great faith. My 10 month old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor in October and Jimmy would call everyday to see how he was doing. We spoke on the phone everyday and when I had not heard from him I knew something was wrong. It absolutely infuriates me that this took place and how corrupt these police are down there. I want to see justice in my best friends murder and it was not right what that police officer did. This police officer is a MURDERER and I want him to pay for it. Jimmy, you will be in my thoughts and in my heart everyday. I will never forget all of our good times and our laughs..So many of them..I will never forget you my friend..~Blake Webster

  15. Shawn

    So sorry to hear of your loss. James and I used to be friends here in Omaha, NE. He was a good guy and we will be watching to see the outcome of the investigation.

  16. Trevor

    Diesel may the angels carry you so high to the heavens to be with your parents. You will be missed and always remembered.

  17. carol

    Thank you so much for your kind words about Jim. I would have replied to your note earlier but this has been the darkest time in my life. Jim and I had been engaged for 7 months. He called me his ‘wife’ and meant it. We had spoken recently about having a committment service this summer because I did not want to marry again. Jim understood and respected my reasons for this and told me all he wanted was to be with me. Jim called us soul mates and now I know what he meant then he said that. There has been such an outpouring of support and grief from his friends and the guys he played football with. I used to laugh at him when it was time to go to football practice, he would be ready to go 2 or 3 hours before he had to leave. He loved football and the deep friendships the game brought him. Jim was the best man I have ever known. He had his demons but was ready to do whatever he had to do to fix his drinking problem. In fact his truck was packed and waiting for him to leave for Omaha the next morning. He never had a chance to go to Omaha, he wanted to coach soccer. He told me if he failed at that he would come home and go into rehab for 90 days. His drinking had become a daily event since his blessed mother passed away. Jim and his mom had such a deep and spiritual connection that he just could not face losing her. Did you know he called her every day after the family moved her to Omaha? When Pat passed away Jim started calling his brother Tom almost every day. Jim was looking for a family member to help him with his grief and I know Tom was a great help in his own way.
    The police are not releasing any information yet and Jim is still at the crime lab in Little Rock waiting for an autopsy. I wish I had something to report but nothing yet on the investigation.I miss Jim every minute of every day, I am not able to eat or sleep. I think I have slept maybe 10 hours since this happened. I just keep saying to myself over and over again ‘what if I had done this or what if I had done that’. I wish I had been able to help him more than I did. Maybe someday I will accept I did everything I could to help him. He told me many times my love made him want to be a better man. I know his love made me a better person. Now everything is darkness and sorrow. If you ever want to talk about Jim or anything at all please call me. Jim’s family is all I have left of him. Please know he was loved as he had never been loved before. I know he is with his beloved mother and dad now. He will be waiting in heaven for me.

  18. Jeff Powell

    I went to college with Diesel in Omaha NE, He has a millions of firends thier. I have known him for many years, I consider him a friend and a man of God. He had his Demons but would not hurt a Soul. 100% no doubt in my mind that he would not own a weapon or carry a weapon. It appears that this is a murder. James was fun and full of life. He always made me laugh. He will be missed.He was kind and gentle. The news is wrong, Jimmy has family. They are all in Omaha.Everyone that ever knew him.

  19. Carol

    Jim (Diesel) had the biggest heart in the world. He always had a kind word or would bring a smile to a stranger’s face with his kindness. I have not been able to bring myself to go to the places we used to go to together mostly restaurants ( you know how he loved to eat :-). Jim had so many people here in the Bella Vista area that loved him. Yes, he has a lot of family here in Arkansas too. You are right he would not ever carry a weapon. My life is so dark right now, I keep expecting him to come charging in the door with that grin on his face and swing me around the room. I miss him so terribly much.

  20. carol

    Hi Chas,
    I wanted to reach out to you because I share your grief and disbelief over this horrible situation. I think the cop lost his temper and just freaked on Jim. I doubt the top of the car was down because of the rain. I think the cops had to take the top down to get Jim out of the car after he died. I have been to the site of Jim’s murder every day since it happened. I see tire tracks where Jim’s car went into the ditch and I see where the police cruiser had the drivers side of the car pinned. I do not see any signs of Jim trying to back up. If Jim was going to continue running his front tires were only a few feet from the pavement. There is no indication Jim was going to try to elude the officer. Jim did not like wearing his seat belt in that car so he was probably not wearing his seat belt and may have been knocked out at impact. I want to know the details of why my beloved Jim was murdered. He is and was the love of my life. We have no choice but to wait until we hear the cops ‘story’. I keep asking why the dash cam has not been released, that would answer most of our questions. But that is not going to happen until or if the cops determine the investigation is complete. We may not ever see that dash cam, it may come up conveniently damaged or some other crap. That is what I expect to happen. Take care and hang in there. I am trying to do the same but he was the light of my life. I miss him every minute and still can’t believe I will never see him again or hear his laughter or feel his arms around me.

  21. Robert Salnicky

    Will thank you for just beening with not all my family gave him a time of the day because of some off his actions But am glad he had you to lean on. i loved him so. I love to talk about jim with if you can send me your phone number to my email i would be glad to talk to you my email is [email protected]

    Until then I talk to you later!

    P.S. I hope this helps I love consider you as Aunt your still family no matter what! Love your nephew Robert Salnicky

  22. Steve Weston

    I would like to say sorry to Carol & honestly can’t believe what has happened to Jimmy. Jimmy used to hang out with us in our twenties in Omaha. He was an incredible soccer player and always was happy when I knew him. I had many good times out with Jimmy.

    He was always full of life and had unlimited energy. Jimmy will always be in my heart. I am very sorry you lost such a good person.

    I still can’t believe this happened. =(

    Steve Weston.

  23. William

    I am very saddened to hear about Jimmy’s Death! I have known Jimmy for about 20 years playing with and against him in soccer in Omaha. I know there are many friends of Jimmy’s in Omaha that would like to pay their respects. Is there any information about a funeral or any services taking place in Omaha?

  24. William

    I am very saddened to hear about Jimmy’s death! I have known Jimmy for about 20 years playing soccer with and against him in Omaha. He has many friends in Omaha that would like to pay their respects. Is there any information about a funeral or services being held in Omaha?

  25. carol

    Hi William, you will need to check with his family about services in Omaha for Jimmy. I know they are still waiting for the autopsy to be done in Arkansas. He will be cremated after the autopsy and then his remains will be sent to Omaha. At this time we have no idea when the autopsy will be completed. I am planning a vigil here but due to some inclement weather conditions the service has to be rescheduled. The church is actually closed today and probably tomorrow because of the road conditions. I will post the date and time of the vigil as soon as I can reschedule.

  26. Jackie

    We all miss jimmy sooooo much, I miss how he made us laugh,he was definitley a bright burst of sunshine, god bless

  27. Jackie

    I am so sorry for your loss, Jimmy will be missed by so many people, I know we have never met, but I am Doug’s girlfriend, Jimmy was one of Doug’s best friend and is he so depressed of the news, I had only known jimmy about 3 years but he was so much fun to be around, Doug just keeps saying he misses how much we would laugh when jimmy came to visit, we would laugh until our sides hurt! We had a blast this summer at the pool and with him staying with us, jimmy had a heart of gold and was such a loyal friend, my thoughts and prayers are with you Carol, if you ever need to talk, Doug and I are here, God Bless

  28. Gulf War Vet

    A few quotes from the January 30, 2010 Benton County Daily Record Opinion Section on page 5A:
    “HOW WE SEE IT – Basic Facts Should Have Come Out”
    “As a newspaper, we admit to having a strong interest in obtaining accurate information on a timely basis. But this isn’t just about us. The longer questions are left unanswered and the longer the public is left in the dark, the longer people are left to fill in the gaps with rumors and speculation. That’s not healthy. When questions about police conduct go unanswered for a long time,the public’s confidence in their police department will be undermined. It leads one to believe officials are trying to hide something because the truth might be damaging to someone within the organization.”
    “What little information we’ve been provided about the shooting has trickled out slowly from Farmer’s office. It took more than four days for the chief just to release the name of the officer involved. Farmer said he did not release the officer’s name earlier because, again, he did not want to jeopardize the investigations. That’s a weak explanation, if it can be called an explanation at all.”
    “But there are investigations, and then there are basic facts that can be easily discovered and disbursed. The fact that it took four days to provide the officer’s name is embarrassing.”

  29. Bob

    This is to inform the friends of James P Ahern .And to correct Robert Salnicky statements. Most of the statements that I wrote are not true i just put what i wanted to say. My commits and statements are not the truth. I withdraw my commits as to the kind of person James was to me.

  30. Bob

    None of this is true but i’am trying to make myself look good. And not put my uncle down for the things he has done to everyone in his past. Thank you Bobby

  31. carol

    I guess I don’t understand your message. What does none of this is true and you are trying to make yourself look good? Jim was a good and very spiritual man who was loved and respected by many people. He loved all of his family even those who treated him badly. Have you ever heard if you tell someone they are bad long enough it comes true. If what your message means what I think it means I feel very sorry for you.

  32. Pat Hough

    I do not understand what Bob or Bobby or Robert is trying to say. Sounds to me as if he is very confused, from grief or alcohol or drugs, who knows. What he just wrote was cruel & totally uncalled for. You have suffered a great loss & in an unbelievably cruel & senseless manner. I hope the person who murdered James or Jim is punished for it, but I too, have my doubts. Everyone has faults, but Jim’s certainly didn’t call for the punishment he received. My heart goes out to you, & I hope you find peace of mind soon. Pat (Bella Vista)

  33. Gulf War Vet

    Today, at approximately 8 PM, will mark the 2 week anniversary of this unfortunate occurrence.

    The actions and lack thereof by Chief Ken Farmer highly questions his ability as a leader since he has undermined public confidence with the Bella Vista Police Department which also reflects upon the City of Bella Vista and its elected officials. Yes, this includes Mayor Frank Anderson.

    At this time late in the 4th quarter, the question of issue is, will the public receive true facts or manipulated facts?

  34. Shawn

    you and others can change things!! get together and vote these pieces of shit out of office!

  35. Gulf War Vet

    How about some questions to ponder?

    As the constipation of releasing so-called facts on day 14 continues to foster an atmosphere of raised eyebrows and mistrust with the public, one may question if the situation is turning into a defensive posture with a puppet regime working in collusion with city attorneys?

    Is it possible that the police officer involved and the deceased resident are really secondary issues?

    What then, could be the primary issue?

    Well, is this unfortunate issue really about providing the public real truth or has it now progressed into the formulation of plans for legal maneuvering despite the circumstances for the best possible outcome in the protection and preservation of the City of Bella Vista treasure chest?

    When Bella Vista Police Chief Ken Farmer does finally locate his spine and holds a press conference with TV media coverage, be sure to pay very careful attention to his nose- See if it grows?

  36. Gulf War Vet

    Gulf War Vet says the Bella Vista Police Department’s SILENCE in regards to this unfortunate incident has been and still is DEAFENING!

    See today’s newspaper article link below. I have provided only two quotes and there is more available to read:

    “Silence causes concern”

    “By Mike Masterson”

    “Sunday, February 7, 2010”

    “LITTLE ROCK — Remember the 41-year-old motorist, James Ahern, who was shot to death by a police officer on Jan. 20 in Bella Vista?”

    “It’s been mighty quiet since that time. Many may recall that the Bella Vista Police Department at first declined to name the officer who had fired those fatal shots. Then after too many days had elapsed, he finally was identified as Cpl. Coleman Brackney. By then, the Arkansas State Police had joined the local department in an investigation that now has stretched well into its third week.”

  37. Craig

    Does anyone know how to get in contact with James’ family in Omaha? I have photographs of James that I would like to give them. Please contact me @ 402-222-7178.

  38. Carol

    Tomorrow will mark the third week of Jim’s death. The Bella Vista police are still silent. Why? It is past the point of a reasonable amount of time to conduct this ‘so called’ investigation. What are they trying to hide? Who are they trying to protect? It is time for Farmer to ‘man up’ and release the results of the investigation. What are they afraid of? The longer this goes without any explanation the more suspicious his behavior becomes. I have checked with the Bella Vista police on a regular basis and get the same response ‘NOTHING TO REPORT’. We want to know why Jim was killed. I am sick of the delays and want some answers NOW!!! I want to know why that animal killed my Jim.

  39. Gulf War Vet

    I am providing a few more quotes from 02/07/10 local newspaper article of which the link is provided:

    “Silence causes concern”

    “By Mike Masterson”

    “Sunday, February 7, 2010”

    “Brackney was immediately placed on paid administrative leave, but it’s the official silence since his identity was made known several days later that has bothered me-a lot. Experience tells me that there’s likely more to this shooting death than a simple traffic stop gone bad.”

    “I have considerable respect for Benton County prosecutor Van Stone. I also believe that whatever information he receives as a result of the investigations, he’ll do the right thing for everyone involved in this regrettable situation.”

    “It wouldn’t surprise me to see Stone impanel a grand jury to help resolve all the questions that swirl around the incident. That would require considerable time and expense, but in the case like this one, a grand jury could become necessary in the interest of determining how it could have happened.”

  40. Gulf War Vet

    “Settlements and Verdicts”

    “Arkansas State Police”

    “Bentonville, AR:(May-03-07) Larry Norman, a former state trooper pleaded guilty to a negligent homicide charge over the fatal shooting of a mentally disabled man mistaken for a fugitive in 2006. Joseph Erin Hamley was mistaken to be a suspected escapee near the Benton-Washington county line, when Norman and several other officers were responded to the call. Officers expecting to find the felon, found Hamley, who refused officers’ commands to keep his hands out of his pockets, which his mother later described as a nervous habit. Police reports show that Hamley was lying on his back and Norman fired after being on the scene less than a minute, after ignoring a command to block traffic and driving to the scene at 100 mph with his radio on. Norman pleaded guilty, claiming he mistook Hamley’s actions as a threat. He faces up to a year in county jail and a fine of $1,000 over the misdemeanor charge. The Arkansas State Police gave a $1 million settlement check to the family of Joseph Erin Hamley for his wrongful death.”

    “BENTONVILLE, Ark.— A former state trooper was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail for shooting to death an unarmed, mentally disabled man he mistook for a fugitive.”

    “Larry Norman pleaded guilty in May to misdemeanor negligent homicide and admitted he mistakenly shot Joseph Erin Hamley, 21, on March 7, 2006, as Norman lay on the ground.”

    “Norman, who could have received up to a year, was ordered to jail immediately, but will be freed for 10 days beginning Friday to get his affairs in order. He also must serve a year of probation and 30 days of community service at a school for disabled people and was fined $1,000.”

    “Norman and other officers mistook Hamley for Adam Lee Leadford, an escaped inmate from Michigan.”

  41. Gulf War Vet

    Well, while Officer Norman was convicted on the above referenced matter, what is the end story?

    It appears as the equivalent of a corporate “golden parachute”?

    “State police granted Norman medical retirement last year due to what his attorney called an ‘enormous psychological overlay’ from the shooting.”

  42. Gulf War Vet

    “Wozniak Announces Plans Run For City Council”

    “By Gaynell Belloni”

    “Friday, February 12, 2010”

    “Former longtime Bella Vista Police Chief Jim Wozniak has announced his plans to run for City Council.”

    “Wozniak resigned his position with the Benton County Quorum Court after eight years so he could run for a council spot. State law prevents a person from holding Quorum Court and city government positions at the same time, he said.”

    “Wozniak has a simple reason for wanting a seat on the City Council.”

    “‘I’ve been here a long time, seen the good and the bad. The city and Property Owners Association were good to me; it’s time to give back,’ Wozniak, who was police chief in Bella Vista from 1995 to 2009, said.”

    “All six council seats will be up for …”

  43. Gulf War Vet

    Below is an excerpt from a newspaper about uncompleted police academy training paid for by us the taxpayer of which involved former Bella Vista Police Chief Jim Wozniak.

    Mr. Wozniak has recently made it publicly known that he seeks a seat on the Bella Vista City Council in the next election.

    You see, in Bella Vista with certain members of the BV Police Boyz Club, you get the opportunity for a “do-over.”

    The quotes below were previously written by Staff columnist Mike Masterson, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Editorial, Pages 15 on 06/03/2008:

    “LITTLE ROCK — I wish Bella Vista Police Chief Jim Wozniak all good fortune in his appeal on behalf of officer Scott Vanatta, who, along with three other officers,recently was expelled from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy for allegedly cheating.”

    “This is the first case of alleged cheating at the academy in 13 years. All except Vanatta later were fired fired by their employers.”

    “All four officers were just three weeks away from graduating from the three-month program and becoming certified. What a shame, and for what?”

  44. Carol

    Jim’s memorial was held Friday night 2/12 at St Bernard’s in Bella Vista. I would like to thank everyone who attended in person and in spirit to honor the memory of this remarkable man. We miss his laughter, his light and his unconditional love. A deep black void has been put into our lives with the loss of James Patrick (Deisel) Ahern. Why? We need to know why we are being forced to endure this loss and pain.

  45. carol

    To Gulf War Vet,

    It is time for Farmer to step down. It is obvious he is not able to perform his duties with the public in mind. One small point everyone seems to forget is the police here in America are here to “PROTECT AND SERVE”. They are NOT here to chase down and murder the residents of the community they are here to protect and serve. I do not feel protected or served in this community. Farmer should have come out long ago and admitted there was no justification for a cop shooting and killing Jim. It is not possible to justify murder.

  46. Gulf War Vet

    To Carol,

    It’s not just the police chief. What about Mayor Frank Anderson who he reports to?

    What has Mayor Frank Anderson’s role in this matter been so far?

    If Gulf War Vet was currently mayor, I would eventually acquire the nickname of “The One-Footed Mayor”


    Because my right foot would be broken off in the ass of Chief Ken Farmer!

    Regardless of whatever “unknown” basic facts or the complete outcome, Bella Vista Police Chief Ken Farmer has undermined public confidence in our police department!

    This should not be tolerated by the taxpayers. Please exercise your right to attend and speak at the next Bella Vista City Council public meeting and bring others with you. Share with them your thoughts at the microphone with newspaper reps in attendance and TV camera in operation!

    The police chief is normally present at these monthly meetings.

    Also, we have an upcoming election for mayor and aldermen positions and we need new public servants in office to make the necessary changes.

    The status quo must go!


    Gulf War Vet

  47. Gulf War Vet

    Attention Concerned Taxpayers of Bella Vista:

    The next regular meeting of the City of Bella Vista Council is Monday, February 22, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at Highlands Crossing.

    Gulf War Vet

  48. Gulf War Vet

    Can Bella Vista Mayor Frank Anderson see beyond his own arrogance to fully understand who he works for?

    The time has now arrived for Bella Vista taxpayers to show Frank Anderson the exit door!

    Here are a few quotes from a local newspaper article:

    “The Weekly Vista”

    “Mayor to seek return to office”


    “Thursday, February, 11, 2010”

    “The first mayor in Bella Vista might be the second mayor as well.”

    “Mayor Frank Anderson announced he will seek reelection in November for his

    “Anderson said other people were asking him whether he would run, so they could make decisions of their own relative to running for office.”

    “The mayor said the city has come a long way since incorporation.”

    “Anderson said he’s not much of a campaigner so do not expect him to knock the door and ask for votes.”

  49. Carol

    I atteneded the Bella Vista City Council meeting last night. Normally there are 6 to 8 people in attendance at these meetings. Last night there was standing room only.
    NBC, CBS and ABC television media attended the meeting as did one of the local newspapers.
    Before the meeting started one of the council men said ‘the media is here, we must be getting really popular’ he laughed as he said this. I was sitting in the front row about 10 feet from this man. I looked him in the eye and said “No you are not popular the media does not care about you.” When it was time for the public to be allowed to each speak for 3 minutes I was the first one at the microphone. I held up a picture of Jim and introduced Jim, starting with his birthdate and ending with that part with “MURDERED” on 1/20/2010 by one of Bella Vista’s finest”.
    After that none of the council could even look me in the eye.
    I asked how Jim could be murdered in a quiet and peaceful community like Bella Vista. I told them what a good and kind man Jim was and told them it was time to complete the investigation. I told them we were all ready for the truth to come out. I told them to bring it on! We just wanted the facts.
    Others got up to speak after I had finished. I was amazed at the corruption going on in this area. When the investigation is complete one thing I am going to get all of the paperwork associated with the investigation and a copy of the dash cam.
    I am then going to take the dash cam to an expert to see if it has been altered in any way. I know they are going to try to withhold as much information as they can from me. But under the Freedom of Information Act they won’t be able to keep it from me. I can’t change what happened to my Jimmy but I can sure find out WHY it happened. I have requested The Department of Justice to launch a violation of civil rights in Bella Vista. Not only for Jim but for the many others whose rights have been violated.

  50. Matthew

    I hope everybody had the chance to view Carol’s address at the February 22nd City Council meeting. We had a great turnout of support and we are all very proud of her courage. I was the one who spoke about being arrested in my own driveway after saying ‘Jesus Christ’. I was 45′-2″ from Officer Tomlin with my back turned walking into my house when he called me back, handcuffed me, and charged me with a criminal count for disorderly conduct. This was after four individuals came onto my property, illegally entered my house, made several threats to kill me, pulled a loaded shotgun on me, and physically assaulted me. I called 911 and even after admission by two of these thugs, the police refused to arrest them or allow me to personally file criminal charges. They also refused after numerous requests to allow me to file Orders of Protection. I also know of four other men arrested for simply talking on their own property. The Bella Vista Police act more like a street gang than legitimate cops. And all this after the city just rallied for a tax increase for public safety. Do not move here! They should have named this town ‘Speed Trap’ the way these officers prey on good innocent people. They lie, cheat, steal, and apparently now murder! And Mayor Anderson and Police Chief Farmer unfortunately support this crime syndicate rather than the honest taxpayer. I might mention that the local Property Owners Association is equally as crooked. People, please stand up against crime, otherwise it is only going to get worse, and in this town that is extremely difficult to fathom.

  51. BV Anonymous

    Hi Carol, my rights have been violated by Bella Vista’s finest also…specifically Dumb Ass Lazy Detective Ryan Harmon…I would love to protest for your cause.

  52. Concerned BV Citizen

    I personally stopped by the police station on my way into town from Rogers. I approached the front desk and asked the receptionist, Amber, to speak with police chief Farmer. She said that he was in his office having lunch and I agreed to come back later. She asked me to hold on, and then came out and said that Farmer would see me. I sat across from Farmer at his own desk and briefly explained that I meant no harm and that my concerns were not to be taken personally, but that he had corrupt cops on his force and that I was 100% sure of this fact as I had personally been witness and victim to the fact. He looked up from his meal and said, “OK, you’ve got my attention.” I continued by voicing concern on behalf of the community and specifically noted that Officer Charles Tomlin and Corporal Kelly Wallace had both violated my 1st Amendment rights and had refused to offer protection to me and my family after I was personally assaulted on my own property. They also made over a dozen False Statements in their reports, each being a crime. I was very calm and polite, and after all this his final response to me was, “Write it down!”. As if it was my duty to do his job. Both men are still currently employed by Bella Vista. I have taken my complaints to the city numerous times but they refuse to do anything about it. I’ve written the entire City Council only to be ignored. I’ve stood before the Council live on TV, to no avail. Just look at the percentage of our force that are known criminals. It is absolutely ridiculous. After this incident my father, who is a dentist in nearby Rogers, even visited Farmer to express strong concern over their repulsive actions and his paternal fear for his own son. Just think, if Police Chief Farmer had simply decided to listen, and act on my words, James might still be alive. I am currently organizing a series of events which will extend to both State and Federal levels and will incorporate all types of media nationwide, and one way or another we are going to clean up this town. Any person having stories to tell, this is the time to do so. If not on this post then please post on Bella Vista’s zip is 72714. James, you are loved beyond measure. I never had the opportunity to meet you but miss you nonetheless. Your pains only help to define your struggle and beauty. And as you look down on us and smile please know that we are behind you all the way!

  53. Layton

    I just heard today from a friend. I played with and against Jim in soccer here in Omaha. He was a force to be reckoned with. It was a game at the indoor center… I thought I got hit by a bus, but he was quick to help me up. The mark of a true sportsman…. My thoughts and prayers…Matt

  54. Gulf War Vet

    “Springdale Man Acquitted Of Battering Police Officer”

    “By Ron Wood”

    “Friday, March 5, 2010”

    “Johnny Ray Balentine got hit on the head with a flashlight, zapped with an electric stun gun, handcuffed and hauled off to jail after his mother called Springdale police to their home to quell an argument last year.

    Police and prosecutors also charged him with battery of a Springdale police officer. But on Thursday, a Washington County jury took about 30 minutes to determine Balentine not guilty.

    Officers arrested Balentine, 28, after he refused leave a bedroom at the apartment he shared with his mother, Pamela. Police said Balentine was the aggressor, tackling officer Christopher Arthur and trying to take away his gun. Arthur said his back was injured and he got a scrape on his wrist in the tussle …”

    Gulf War Vet

  55. carol

    We are now going into the seventh week of this investigation. The county attorney requested additional evidence from the ARSP on 3/3/2010. Getting whatever that evidence is from the ARSP could take weeks. We are still waiting. I have read blogs from the local newspapers and there have been some terrible things said in those blogs. Blaming Jim and even me for his death. I so often wonder when I read these comments, how would these same people feel if the victim was one of their loved ones? I would never want this to happen to anyone, the pain and not knowing why Jim was killed is almost unbearable at times. Someone left a sign at Jim’s memorial on 3/3/2010 it was a 3×5 ft sign which said “A Catholic man, homosexually solicited, he resisted and was murdered.” The sign was adorned with a flower spray and some religious icons. I was first horrified that someone would put a sign on what is sacred ground to the people who love Jim. My second thought after a few days was wondering if someone left this sign there because he had experienced the same abuse by a BV cop? If that is the case I can only hope this person will come forward and tell his story. If this is not the case why in the world would someone leave a sign like this one?
    I have been chastised in the press for wanting to know what happened that night. Yes I understand investigations take time, but how much time? If the intent was to make everyone forget about Jim’s death, it is not working. People want to know what happened. I no longer feel safe in BV and I am making plans to move from this area this fall or as soon as I can.

  56. The Lone Ranger

    Here is Mayor Frank Anderson’s former quoted comment about his attitude towards the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act(FOIA) that was observed and reported by The Morning News per below:

    The news article was titled- “Bella Vista Needs More Sunshine”

    This article was published on Friday, June 1, 2007 10:16 PM CDT BY THE MORNING NEWS

    Now, a few excerpts from this news article:

    “What truly concerns us is Bella Vista Mayor Frank Anderson’s thoughts on the Freedom of Information Act.”

    “‘I don’t think FOIA is a good thing for anybody, personally,’ Anderson said recently.”

    “We have had no indication Mayor Anderson, former chairman of the association board of directors and general manager of the association, is going to do anything but follow the letter and spirit of the law. But when a public official states he sees no benefit in the Freedom of Information Act, we take notice and take exception.”
    In further, the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act of which is state law:

    25-19-101. Title.

    This chapter shall be known and cited as the

    “Freedom of Information Act of 1967.”

    15-19-102. Legislative intent.

    “It is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner so that the electors shall be advised of the performance of public officials and of the decisions that are reached in public activity and in making public policy. Toward this end, this chapter is adopted, making it possible for them, or their representatives to learn and to report fully the activities of their public officials.”

  57. The Lone Ranger

    From a recent NWA Online news article:

    Please note the IMPACT of the article title:

    “HOW WE SEE IT: Secrecy Undermines Trust”

    “Thursday, March 4, 2010”

    Now, just a few quotes:

    “NORTHWEST ARKANSAS — There are those in Bella Vista and elsewhere who are anxious – and understandably so – to learn exactly what happened the night of Jan. 20, when Bella Vista Police Cpl.Coleman Brackney shot and killed 41-year-old James Patrick Ahern.”

    “Six weeks have passed, and police remain tightlipped about the details. We know that Ahern led Brackney on a car chase, that there was slight contact between their vehicles, and that there were multiple shots fired (according to witnesses interviewed by this newspaper). That’s about all we’ve been told.”

    Last, the final paragraph most likely in summation relative to this news article and who may deserve blame:

    “All this having been said, we should acknowledge that if the public is uneasy about how the Ahern case is being handled, then the Bella Vista Police Department deserves much of the blame. In the shooting’s aftermath, Police Chief Ken Farmer was indefensibly slow to release even the most basic facts of the incident – including the officer’s name, which was withheld from the media for more than four days. This secrecy created the impression that police were trying to hide something. It should come as no surprise if that impression has persisted to this day and grown worse.”

  58. benhappy

    Several years ago not too long before Sheriff Ferguson took over, Andy Lee was Sheriff and Bella Vista was under the Sheriff’s Office. I want to say it was either 2001 or 2002, the Sheriff’s Office made a tougher Fire-Arms Qualification course. The course was harder to score and had SHOOT-DON’T-SHOOT scenarios. Chief Wozniak and his upper brass complained that the course was too hard and didn’t believe that the Bella Vista division needed to take the course. Some complaints were even that it caused them aches and pains to have to shoot the course. Bella Vista didn’t have to complete this qualification. It was left at that. It is not right for them to deny us this information. It’s obvious they messed-up and appears they still don’t take their roles serious. People should get together and encircle the office, (or offices if it takes it). We should in peace and prayer demand that these people who claim to be our servants, serve us – THE PEOPLE.
    And if it comes out that any of these people had been hiding info. from us to try and buy time. We should remove them from office and hold them on criminal charges. Make a date and let us gather. PEACE

  59. The Lone Ranger

    “Dotting every i”
    “Patience is a virtue, people”

    “Thursday, March 11, 2010”

    “THE PROSECUTOR in Benton County-Van Stone-has been handed a tough assignment: Find out just how, and why, James Ahern was shot to death in Bella Vista on the night of January 20th.”

    “It hasn’t helped that this case has been handled with considerable secrecy from the beginning, much of it needless. Ken Farmer, the city’s police chief, even withheld Corporal Brackney’s name for four days after the shooting. That kind of silence is fertile ground for rumor and speculation, especially when an investigation drags on silently for more than six weeks.”

    “For the moment the public has a lot more questions than answers. But in the end, Prosecutor Stone’s options are limited. Essentially they will boil down to three choices: Charge the officer with a homicide, submit his findings to a grand jury and let that body decide whether to indict, or decline to file charges.”

    “Right now, the prosecutor awaits the results of additional forensic testing from the State Crime Laboratory. Its report may support or refute Corporal Brackney’s version of what happened during those fateful moments after he stopped Mr. Ahern’s car. Meanwhile, Bella Vista police are completing an internal investigation of their own.”

    “The full story should emerge soon enough in this highly visible case, and, if we know Van Stone, it will be an account that’s well-supported by the facts.”

    The Lone Ranger
    Hi-yo, Silver, Away!

  60. The Lone Ranger

    “Former State Trooper Arrested In Connection With Parole Violation”

    “By Staff Report”

    “Friday, March 26, 2010”

    “A retired Arkansas state trooper was arrested Thursday in connection with parole violation.”

    “Joseph Truman Hutchens, 64, of 128 Leicester Drive in Bella Vista was being held with no bond set.”

    “Parole officials did not return a call Thursday afternoon seeking more information as to why Hutchens was arrested.”

    “Hutchens was first arrested in 2005 and pleaded guilty in January 2007. He was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on each of eight counts of possessing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child, a Class C felony.”

    “The sentences were to run concurrently. Hutchens also agreed to abide by a suspended-sentence agreement for five years after his release and continue outpatient treatment. He was required to register as a sex offender.”

    “The initial arrest capped an investigation by the FBI after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTipline.”

    “Hutchens was working as a bailiff for Circuit Judge David Clinger at the time of his initial arrest. A forensic examination of the hard drive of a county-owned computer revealed the presence of at least 37 images of suspected child porn.”

    “The images appeared to be of children younger than 17 engaging in deviant sexual activity, according to a probable cause affidavit in the case.”

    “Hutchens worked as a bailiff for almost a year and was a trooper for 26 years.”

    The Lone Ranger
    Hi-yo, Silver, Away!

  61. Carol Owens

    We are now at day 83 of Jim’s death. There is TOTAL silence from the ‘authorities’ regarding the investigation of Jim’s death.

    I have left numerous voice mails and sent emails to the county attorney Van Stone. Mr. Stone has not returned my phone calls or replied to my emails. I wonder why? Mr. Stone at least tells the media there is NOTHING TO REPORT yet! WHY NOT?

    How long does it take to conclude an investigation? The conclusion locally is there is a cover up in progress. I have to agree, it smells like something nasty is trying to be covered up.

    How much longer does the public have to pay Brackney for sitting on his butt?

    It is WAY beyond time to bring this ‘so called’ investigation to an end and for the authorities to attempt to rebuild some public confidence. At this point it has taken too long for the truth to come out and everyone who has touched this investigation is smelling bad.

    ENOUGH it is time to reveal the results of the investigation into Jim’s death.

    It does not seem to matter to the people in charge of this investigation that we cannot move forward until the truth comes out.


  62. Hoho

    This is to let everyone and Carol to back off. Carol is no part of this family and has no right pushing this case. If and when the reports are done the family will inform the person’s need. Maybe Carol and maybe not. But Carol Has no right pushing in to James death.


  63. James

    You guys should be thankful that someone is pushing, fighting, and not letting this just die. People need to be aware of what is going on with this, the way our justice system favors some and not others. Does she have no right because she wasn’t legally married?? She was still his partner asshole, and I believe by Arkansas state law could possibly qualify as his common law wife. I believe they did live together for a year at one point. Not sure what AR law is on that. I’m sure the Lone Ranger will look it up and let us know. All of that gives her every right. As a friend of James’ I hope she keeps pushing. How could you tell someone to stop fighting for justice in the death of your own family member. Thankful your not related to me.

  64. Carol Owens

    Joe, are you serious? It is incredible to me that Jim’s brother-in-law would post such a senseless and ignorant message to me. You are only involved by marriage.

    You and most of his family had little or ‘NOTHING’ to do with Jim while he was alive. You judged him as unworthy of your attention or love. It always amazed me how much Jim loved all of you given the way you treated him. Well buddy Joe I did and do and will always love Jimmy. Sure we had our ups and downs but our love always prevailed.

    Now you are all into Jim’s death for your own gain. Yes I know about the wrongful death suit you are pursuing, Steve told me about it. It makes me sick to my stomach knowing some of the family is trying to benefit financially from Jim’s death. I know it would make Jim sick too. Any financial gain from this sad situation should be donated to the charities Jim supported. But of course you know nothing about that, do you?

    REST ASSURED I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR ‘JUSTICE FOR JIM’. I have NO financial interest in this matter, like YOU do. What have you done in this matter other than be a part of a lawsuit to get some cash?

    While I am blasting you here for your ignorance. Let me also say I was shocked and appalled at the lack of a Funeral Mass for Jim and the lack of a priest at his internment. Only a deacon was there. That says a lot about the family’s so called love for Jim. I am hardly alone in this feeling, some of his friends contacted me about the pitiful service and lack of respect given Jim.

    One other thing have you ever heard of the Freedom of Information Act. Honey I will get a copy of every page of this so called investigation and a copy of the dash cam. The family nor anyone else has a decision to make in this matter. This is the law of our country. So take your threats and stuff them where the sun don’t shine!

    If you have something to say to me “PICK UP THE FREAKING PHONE AND TELL ME IN PERSON”. What a coward you are. Trying to post as Hoho, but then putting your name ‘JOE’ at the end of it. How stupid!!!

    Actually I am really the only person who has a RIGHT to push into this as you put it. When was the last time he spent the night in your home???? When was the last time you told him you loved him?

    Furious does not even describe me right now. How dare you?

    Sorry after your pitiful post I have just begun to stir the nasty pot that is the Bella Vista government and the Benton county officials involved in this investigation. So step back and watch my FURY!!! I don’t do things under a cloak of secrecy the way you ‘TRIED’ to do. I don’t have anything to hide. You have a lot to hide and a lot you should be ashamed of in your treatment of Jim.

    Frankly I have ‘WASTED’ enough of my time and energy on you.


  65. Cuz From Cali

    The moderator for McDonald Count Forums did post that he/she would reopen the thread after the report comes out BUT… He banned all the people who spoke against the injustice so they can’t rejoin the topic even IF Scutter reopens it.

  66. Carol Owens

    The investigation was concluded into Jim’s death today. Officer Coleman Brackney was charged with Felony Manslaughter. He could go to prison for 3 to 10 years. The wheels of justice grind slowly and this could go on for months.
    I will be in court everyday if Brackney does not plead this out. Thank you to everyone who supported me in my fight for ‘Justice for Jim’.

  67. Carol Owens

    Brackney was released ROR after less than 2 hours in the jail. He did not have to post any bail. Why not? Any individual who had committed such a heinous act would be sitting in jail while paying a hefty bail. Brackney is still getting special treatment. Brackney shot Jim 6 times and his story does NOT match the dash cam evidence. Jim was trying to comply with Brackney even though his arms had been shot and still Brackney shot him in the back. Brackney is an out of control animal and needs to be put in a cage like a wild out of control animal.

  68. Concerned Citizen

    About damn time! Hopefully this wimp will get his in jail, but they will probably keep him away from everyone else. This is ok though, beacuse God will take care of it.

    Also, Jim’s little greedy brother’s comments posted a week or two ago were disgusting. Maybe he new found fortune will make him love Jimmy more.

  69. Carol Owens

    I attended the Bella Vista City Council Meeting tonight. Following is the statement I read to them:

    “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 witin hours of Mr. Brackney killing James Ahern.

    Whith 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 whar are above reproach. We deserve honorable and honest men in these offices.

    Thank you for your time!”

    At the end of my statement I handed a copy of my signed statement to the Recorder whose name was ‘Jane’. As I handed it to her I said ‘I want to make sure it gets put in the City Council minutes correctly.’ At that point ‘Jane’ snarlled at me and told me it WOULD NOT BE IN THE MINUTES!! She was no doubt pissed, but the bylaws say citizen comments are to be documented.

    Tomorrow I will be contacting Bella Vista’s City Attorney so I can get a ruling on recording of the minutes. If I am right and they have to publish those they will publish them under legal duress.

  70. Gulf War Vet

    ORDINANCE NO. 2010 – 01


    WHEREAS, in accordance with Arkansas Code Annotated (“A.C.A.”) §14-43-303 the qualified electors of the City of Bella Vista, Arkansas, are required to elect a Mayor for four (4) years on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November 2010 and every four (4) years thereafter; and

    WHEREAS, the Mayor shall perform the duties as prescribed by state statute and shall receive compensation as prescribed by city ordinance; and

    WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the City of Bella Vista, Arkansas, that the duties, and compensation of the Mayor be prescribed by city ordinance.


    Section 1: Duties of the Mayor

    The position of Mayor is a full time position and shall consist of the following duties:

    A. Preside over all City Council meetings;
    B.Supervise the conduct of all the officers of the city, examine the grounds of all reasonable complaints made against them, and cause all their violations of duty or other neglect to be properly punished or reported to the proper tribunal for correction;
    C.Have and exercise the power conferred on sheriffs, within the city limits, to suppress disorder and keep the peace;
    D. Perform such other duties compatible with the nature of his or her office as the city council may from time to time require.
    E.Perform all other duties specifically prescribed to the office of Mayor in Arkansas Statute(s).

    Section 3: Compensation of the Mayor

    A. The City Council shall annually adopt, no later than the 1st day of July in any given year, a resolution setting the compensation for the Mayor for the following calendar year; and

    B. If the City Council fails to set or adjust the compensation of the Mayor by the 1st day of July in any given year, it is presumed that the compensation last set shall remain in effect;

    C. That during any given four (4) year term the compensation may not be decreased without the consent of the Mayor.

    Section 4: Term of Office

    The term of Mayor shall be four (4) years in accordance with the election cycle established by A.C.A. § 14-43-305.

    Section 5: Effective Date

    This ordinance shall be effective January 1, 2011.

    Section 6: Conflicting Ordinances or Resolutions

    All ordinances and resolutions or parts thereof in conflict herewith are hereby repealed as of the effective date set out in Section 5 above.



    Frank E. Anderson, Mayor

    Jane A. Wilms, CAMC/MMC
    City Clerk

    Requested by: Mayor
    Prepared by: Bryan S. Vernetti, acting City Attorney
    Published: May 5, 2010

  71. niece

    My aunt was more family to jim then you ever were so how dare you talk to her like that you coward, greedy, worthless human being!

  72. Concerned

    Domestic violence victim and wasn’t protected by the Bella Vista police department. The police department is corrupt.

  73. Julie Pooley


    I’m not sure if you still look at this feed as it has been 8 years since Jim’s tragic death. I knew Jim in Omaha when we were both in high school – he at Creighton Prep and me at Millard North H.S. I remember hanging out with him and going to soccer games at an indoor complex. He was one of the kindest people I’ve ever known in my life. I am angered and deeply saddened and disturbed by the circumstances surrounding his death. We lost touch in our late 20’s, but I still have some pictures of him from long ago. I am so sorry for your loss – even though it was 8 years ago, I’m certain it feels like yesterday.

    I am finishing my bachelors degree at Montana State University with an emphasis in pre-law. For one of my classes this semester, we have to do a case study related to violence/crime and present it at the end of the semester. Since I have a personal connection to Jim, I feel it would do even more justice to get his story out there. Would you be willing to speak with me about the case for this project? If so, please contact me.

    With respect,
    Julie Pooley


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