On Air Now Connie Sellecca
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Trial for former Omaha school official, basketball coach reset for late March

(KTLO) The jury trial set this month for a former Omaha High School principal and head boys’ basketball coach is accused of killing his wife has again been pushed back.

A pre-trial hearing in the murder case of 52-year-old Rocky Brian Dodson is now set for Feb. 21 and the jury trial for March 27 at the Boone County Courthouse in Harrison.

After an earlier continuance was granted by Circuit Judge John Putman, Dodson’s trial for second-degree murder had been set to begin Jan. 30. Court documents show his attorney, Shane Wilkinson of Bentonville, filed another motion for a continuance last week.

MURDER REPORTED

Boone County deputies were called March 6 to the couple’s residence along Stonegate Drive in Omaha, where the body of Dodson’s wife, Amanda, was found on the living room floor.

Amanda Christine Dodson was born in Mountain Home and worked in the Omaha and Cotter school districts.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the woman’s body “displayed severe bruising on the legs, arms and areas of the upper torso.”

Rocky Dodson called 911. He claimed he discovered his wife deceased when he woke up about 9 a.m. March 6.

He told investigators his wife had returned home in the early morning hours of March 6. He said he had let her into the house, put her on a couch and gone to the couple’s bedroom.

In the probable cause affidavit, Rocky Dodson paints a somewhat unflattering picture of his wife – telling investigators she was a chronic alcoholic, among other things.

He did admit that he had been the only one in the house with his wife at the time of the murder. In a summary of the evidence, an investigator opined that, “Rocky Dodson was the only person present who had the ability to inflict the blow on Amanda Dodson that caused her death.”

MEDICAL EXAMINERS’S REPORT

The woman’s body was sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock. The doctor who conducted the autopsy reported she had “found external bruising and hemorrhaging at the front of the neck, severe edema (swelling) completely through the neck muscles in the area of the Adam’s apple as well as fractured, broken and crushed tracheal cartilage.”

The doctor said in her opinion the blow to the neck would have immediately caused the victim “severe distress.”

She said the injuries would have led the victim to have significant breathing problems due to a reduction in the intake of oxygen.

In addition, the injuries would have “caused the victim to wheeze, cough or gurgle.”

The doctor said anyone present at the scene should have been aware that the victim was in serious distress, but Rocky Dodson did not mention to investigator that he had noted any distress on the part of his wife.

The doctor said, in her professional opinion, the injuries suffered by Amanda Dodson resulted from “blunt force” trauma.

Dodson has entered a not guilty plea to the murder charge and is free on a $250,000 bond.

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