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Dodson Murder Trail Postponed Again

The murder trial of Rocky Brian Dodson, a former area basketball coach and school principal charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, Amanda Christine Dodson, has faced another delay, and a new judge has been appointed by the state's highest court.

The Arkansas Supreme Court has appointed retired Circuit Judge William R. Wright to preside over Dodson's trial in the 14th Judicial Circuit. The 53-year-old Dodson, who was the high school principal and boys' basketball coach at Omaha at the time of the incident, is accused of causing the death of his wife in March 2022.

The decision to appoint Judge Wright follows a request from the Boone County Circuit Clerk's Office. While online court documents did not provide a reason for the change in the judge, the trial was initially assigned to Circuit Judge John Putman.

No new trial date for Dodson has been listed in online court records. However, Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge informed the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the trial is scheduled to commence in March.

Dodson, a former basketball coach at Norfork and Cotter and an ex-administrator at Flippin, has been at the center of the murder investigation since March 6, 2022. Boone County sheriff's deputies were called to the Dodson residence along Stonegate Drive in Omaha, where Amanda Dodson's lifeless body was discovered on the living room floor.

The probable cause affidavit detailed severe bruising on the legs, arms, and upper torso of Amanda Dodson. Rocky Dodson, who contacted 911, claimed to have found his wife deceased when he woke up around 9 a.m. on March 6, 2022. He stated that he had let her into the house in the early morning hours, placed her on a couch, and then returned to their bedroom.

Rocky Dodson, in his statements to investigators, portrayed his wife as a chronic alcoholic, among other allegations. He admitted to being the only person in the house with his wife at the time of the murder. Investigators, summarizing the evidence, suggested that "Rocky Dodson was the only person present who had the ability to inflict the blow on Amanda Dodson that caused her death."

The woman's body underwent examination at the State Medical Examiner's Office in Little Rock, where extensive bruising and hemorrhaging at the front of the neck, severe swelling, and damage to the tracheal cartilage were reported. The medical examiner concluded that Amanda Dodson's death resulted from "blunt force trauma."

As the legal proceedings continue, the community awaits the upcoming trial to shed light on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident.

(Story by Holly Stover with information provided by KTLO)

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