On Friday morning, April 25th, 2008 Janice Sue Allen age 60 of Berryville, was staying with her daughter, JoAnn Alvard, to help her as she recuperated from brain surgery. JoAnn did not know that this would be the last time that she would see he mother alive. On that morning her ex-husband came to her apartment and killed her mother.
JoAnn Alvard, the daughter of Janice Allen, stated in a Miranda hearing that Marty came over at or about 9:00 AM, and knocked on the door. She called out come in, thinking it was her neighbor. Marty entered the apartment stating he was returning some items. JoAnn asked what he was doing off work and Marty advised that he had a Doctors appointment because he was having trouble with his ears. While Marty was there JoAnn remembered that the kids Easter baskets were in her car and he needed to take them and put them in storage. Marty advised that he meant to bring some quarters for her laundry and advised that he would go get them and be back. JoAnn stated that Marty left about 9:30 AM, and she and her Mom continued to watch TV. JoAnn stated that at about 10:00 AM, Marty returned to the apartment, knocked, and JoAnn again called out come in knowing it was Marty. JoAnn stated that Marty came in and began to read the newspaper on the kitchen table, and then he washed the dishes. JoAnn stated that at one point Marty pulled a chair up behind the two recliners and watched TV with them.
JoAnn stated at one point she got up to use the bathroom and while she was in there she heard a loud “k’thunk” noise. JoAnn thought it was an odd sound and thought maybe Marty was in finishing the dishes but she continued to try to figure out what could have caused that noise. JoAnn stated that she also thought something hit the floor and that scared her and immediately thought that Marty had hit her mom because it sounded like someone hitting someone. JoAnn stated that she wouldn’t have thought that but she immediately heard her Mom making moaning sounds approximately 3 or 4 times so she knew Marty had hit her with something. JoAnn went on to say that since he was doing dishes she thought he hit her with a skillet because it was an aluminum hitting sound she heard.
JoAnn stated she was afraid to come out because she didn’t know if Marty was going to hurt her. JoAnn decided to come out of the bathroom and Marty met her at the door and pulled her into her bedroom. JoAnn then stated that once in the bedroom Marty jerked her pants down and he was going to make her have sex with him. At that point JoAnn asked Marty if he had done something to her Mom, just so she would have sex with him, but Marty didn’t answer. JoAnn stated that while they were in the bedroom she screamed for her upstairs neighbor but Marty pushed her down on the bed and covered her nose and mouth and told her she couldn’t do that and if she did it again he would kill her. JoAnn said that she told Marty that if he wanted to have sex let’s just do it and Marty said no, if you are going to stay alive we have to leave this apartment NOW. JoAnn asked where they were going to go and Marty advised he didn’t know, but if she was going to stay alive she was going to have to leave.
JoAnn said then they started to leave, and Marty pulled her along behind him. JoAnn described that Marty stayed between her and her mother, but she did notice that her mother was covered with a throw and noticed that there was a baseball bat leaning against the wall at the end of the hallway. JoAnn said that they got into her vehicle and Marty was driving. JoAnn said that while they were leaving she tried to yell at a teacher at the Green Forest High School to get her to check on her mother. Marty pulled her down into the vehicle and told JoAnn he was already in trouble and he could kill her right here, and he didn’t have to wait. JoAnn said that she then rolled her window back up. JoAnn said to investigators that Marty always carries a derringer with him.
JoAnn stated that they left the apartment at about 11:15 AM, and Marty drove to his jobsite in the Golden, Missouri area. JoAnn said that while they were at the jobsite they met up with Wendell Parton who is Marty’s boss and then Marty told Wendell that he had done something bad. Wendell stated that they needed to go to the church and meet with the Pastor. JoAnn said that she was not riding with Marty anymore and Marty asked if she could ride with Wendell.
JoAnn stated that from Golden, MO. she rode with Wendell to Oak Grove, AR. to the church. During this ride JoAnn was trying to get Wendell to let her use his cell phone to try to get someone to check on her mother and said that this was about 12:15 PM. JoAnn stated that Wendell started making excuses and telling her she should be careful who she calls and took his cell phone back. Once they arrived at the church JoAnn went inside where some of the church ladies were waiting and Marty stayed outside with the men.
At about 12:43 PM, Carroll County Central Dispatch received a phone call from a man who identified himself as Randy Williams. Mr. Williams reported that he believes someone had been murdered in the apartment located at 603 E. 10th Street, Green Forest, AR. Apartment #1. According to the phone incident report Mr. Williams advised that Marty Alvard supposedly had beaten her to death with a baseball bat.
At about 12:50 PM, first arriving Officers on scene knocked and announced “Sheriff’s Department” and no one answered. Carroll County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant J.C. Nelson then tried the door knob and found that the door was locked. According to Green Forest Police Chief John Bailey’s report a woman from upstairs came down and advised Officers that she had a key and provided it to Lt. Nelson who then opened the door.
According to Chief John Bailey’s report, Chief Bailey reported that he could immediately see a partially covered body sitting in a chair in the living room. At that point Lt. J.C. Nelson entered the apartment and cleared the apartment of any other persons while Chief Bailey remained in the living room area. Chief Bailey further reported that the body had been partially covered with what appeared to be a throw rug that covered from approximately the stomach up over the head. Chief Bailey also reported that he did not see any movement and observed that the left hand of the victim had a dark blue appearance and was apparent to Chief Bailey the body was deceased. Chief Bailey reported that as he turned to exit the apartment he observed a pair of glasses on the floor and a baseball bat leaning up against the wall near the front door.
Investigator Lieutenant Jimmy Capps and Captain Alan Hoos (who are also Deputy Coroners) arrived on scene. Lt. Capps entered the apartment while Capt. Hoos stood at the doorway and checked the victim for a radial pulse. Lt. Capps advised that the victim, an unidentified older white female, did not have a pulse. Lt. Capps then partially lifted the cover from the victims head and Capt. Hoos observed that the victim had a large amount of blood covering the victim’s chest area. Upon the arrival of St. John’s ambulance, Lt. Capps had one medic enter the residence and hook the victim up to a heart monitor and run a strip. The results were flat line and the victim was pronounced deceased at or about 1:15 PM.
According to Chief Bailey’s report at or about 1:00 PM, Green Forest Police Officer Shannon Hill phoned Chief Bailey and advised him that Marty Alvard had just called Office Hill and told Office Hill that he had “messed up and his mother-in-law was dead”. Chief Bailey’s report further states that Officer Hill advised Chief Bailey that Marty had told him that “he wanted to do the right thing and turn himself in, but would only do so to Officer Hill and Chief Bailey.”
Chief Bailey’s report states that he and Officer Hill located Marty Alvard at a residence near Hutcheson Trucking in Oak Grove, Arkansas. The report reflects that Chief Bailey read Marty Alvard his Miranda Rights. During a post Miranda interview Chief Bailey asked Marty Alvard what had happened and Marty stated, “I don’t know I just snapped.” Marty stated that his estranged wife had just had brain surgery so he went to her apartment to help her with things around the apartment. Marty stated that he had done the dishes and some minor cleaning and said his mother-in-law had been there for a couple of days to also help. Marty stated that she, his mother-in-law, was giving him the cold shoulder while he was there. Marty stated that at one point they watched TV for a while then he was going to help with the laundry. Marty said he had some quarters to help with the laundry and at some point he just snapped. Marty again stated he did not know why he “snapped” or why he “did it”.
~Marty Alvard Mug Shot~
At this point Chief Bailey advised Marty Alvard that he was under arrest and transported Marty Alvard to the Carroll County Detention Center.
During the course of the investigation Captain Alan Hoos, Lieutenant Jimmy Capps, and Special Agent Chad Hipps with the Arkansas State Police processed the crime scene after applying for and receiving a search warrant. During the processing of the scene investigators identified the victim as Janice Sue Allen by comparison to her Arkansas driver’s license photograph that was retrieved from a purse that was found in the apartment. Mrs. Allen was found in a recliner in the living room area of the apartment. During the investigation Lt. Capps had received information that Marty Alvard had hit the victim with a baseball bat and stabbed her with a knife. During the processing of the body Capt. Hoos palpated Mrs. Allen’s skull and felt what appeared to be a very soft spot along the back/right side of her head. Investigators also located what appeared to be a deep laceration along the right side of Mrs. Allen’s neck line. The laceration was later confirmed during visual examination at the Carroll County Coroners Office (Nelson’s Funeral Home). Mrs. Allen has been sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiners office for an autopsy. During the process of the scene Investigators collected an aluminum type baseball bat that was leaning against the wall near the doorway.
While Investigators processed the scene, Special Agents Ken Whillock and Aaron Keith with the Arkansas State Police began conducting interviews at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department.
This Capital murder trial of Marty Alvard has been postponed by weather several times this year alone but will finally get underway on March 23rd, 2010 in Carroll County Arkansas.
In recent motions filed with the court, Marty Alvard’s lawyer, Bill James of Little Rock, asked a Judge Kent Crow to limit the amount of testimony and opening statements about a previous incident involving Marty Alvard and a knife. Judge Kent Crow said he would limit what Prosecutor Tony Rogers could say about the incident in his opening statement and rule further as testimony was entered into the record.
Judge Kent Crow made similar rulings on several other motions including one pertaining to JoAnn Alvard’s journals and information about Marty Alvard’s alleged pornography habits.
Prosecutor Tony Rogers filed one motion asking Judge Crow to order Marty Alvard’s parents, Billie and Connie Alvard, to answer questions from the prosecutor under oath in deposition prior to trial.
Prosecutors believe that control issues led Marty Alvard to murder Janice Sue Allen. Court records say that Marty Alvard was “losing control” of his wife, JoAnn Alvard, who had “walked out on the defendant.”
Since her estranged husband’s attempt to rape her was second only to his murder of her mother on the day of April 25, 2008, why didn’t she tell his boss about the rape?
~Attorney Bill James~
That was the question posed by Little Rock lawyer Bill James, who is representing Marty Alvard, 40, of Green Forest. Alvard may face the death penalty for the murder of Janice Allen, 60, of Berryville.
JoAnn Alvard, 39, looked fragile when she took the witness stand against her ex-husband Thursday. She had undergone two surgeries for brain cancer before her mother’s murder, and one since.
~Eureka Springs Court House~
And she had taken a spill Thursday morning down the stairs of the Eureka Springs courthouse, which is not handicapped-accessible.
Why didn’t she tell Wendell Parton, Marty Alvard’s construction boss, about the attempted rape when he helped calm Marty Alvard before he turned himself in to police?
JoAnn Alvard, who had told police about the sexual situation at the time, said “It’s embarrassing. I’d rather not talk about it today, but I have to.”
Under lengthy cross-examination by Attorney Bill James, she admitted telling police that Marty Alvard could be a good father, that he had not struck her or their three sons and that she had described him as seeming to “wake up” and “snap out of it” after the crime and about his history of quick blow-ups and calm-downs.
Although a state psychologist says Marty Alvard was sane at the time of the crime, the defense contends that Marty Alvard is guilty by reason of insanity because he suffered a dissociative episode during the crime.
Beyond that, JoAnn Alvard told the story of being pregnant when she married Marty Alvard in 1989 and of staying with him for almost 20 years without loving him, as he thought she had.
After their separation, she sometimes slept with him to get money he otherwise wouldn’t give her to take care of their children, as she lived on disability payments, she said.
Her testimony followed opening statements by Attorney Bill James and Prosecutor Tony Rogers Thursday morning.
Prosecutor Tony Rogers told the jury that Marty Alvard “brutalized” his estranged wife and her mother and then killed the mother at the Carroll House Apartments where JoAnn Alvard lived.
Prosecutor Tony Rogers stated Alvard’s lawyer will use a not guilty by mental disease or defect defense for his client.
In his opening statement, Attorney Bill James didn’t deny that Marty Alvard killed his mother-in-law, but said the jury would hear a psychologist/neurologist testify that Marty Alvard had organic brain damage.
Organic brain syndrome (OBS) is an older and nearly obsolete general term from psychiatry, referring to many physical disorders that cause impaired mental function. It usually does not include psychiatric disorders. Originally, the term was created to distinguish physical (termed “organic”) causes of mental impairment from psychiatric (termed “functional”) disorders, but this division became increasingly difficult to make as the physical correlates of mental problems become more numerous. Thus, the term (which was never well-defined) is now almost officially obsolete term in psychiatry, having been removed from DSM-IV, but still occasionally used in practice and in the literature.
Attorney Bill James stated that Marty Alvard was in a dissociative state and “kind of remembers doing it, but doesn’t know why.”
Attorney Bill James told the jurors they should be “honest” and find Alvard not guilty by reason of insanity.
Attorney Bill James urged them not to act in “fear of the unknown” because there was no “iron-clad answer” to what would happen with Alvard if they didn’t find him guilty.