Arkansas high school principal accused of fatally striking wife in throat

BOONE COUNTY, Ark. — An Arkansas high school principal is accused of fatally striking his wife in the throat in March, authorities said.

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Rocky Brian Dodson, 52, who is the principal at Omaha High School in Omaha, located in northern Arkansas, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Amanda Dodson, 36, striking her in the neck, “crushing tracheal cartilage” to cause her death, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The charge was included in documents that were unsealed Wednesday in Boone County Circuit Court, the newspaper reported.

Murder in the second degree is a Class A felony and if convicted, Rocky Dodson faces a prison sentence of six to 30 years, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

According to a news release from Boone County Sheriff Tim Roberson, deputies responded to a house in Omaha on March 6, KTHV-TV reported.

Roberson said in the news release that findings from an investigation and the medical examiner revealed that Amanda Dodson died from a “severe injury” due to a “blow to the throat.”

“This affiant believes that Rocky Brian Dodson was the only person present and who had the ability to inflict the blow on Amanda Dodson that caused her death,” Shauna Isbell, an investigator with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

Rocky Dodson told police that his wife was a “chronic alcoholic” and said he let his wife into their house at 2:30 a.m. CDT on March 6, KTHV reported, citing the affidavit.

He claimed that after waking up at 9:01 a.m., he found his wife dead on the couch and called 911, according to the television station.

On March 9, an autopsy was conducted, and the medical examiner said Amanda Dodson had external bruising and hemorrhaging at the front of the neck and severe edema on the neck muscles, injuries that were “consistent with blunt force trauma,” according to KTHV.

Rocky Dodson was arrested on March 10, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

Superintendent Ryan Huff put Rocky Dodson on administrative leave after learning of his arrest, according to the newspaper. Dodson, who was also the high school boys basketball coach, resigned from the school district at the end of April.

Rocky Dodson has pleaded innocent and is free after posting bail of 250,000, the Democrat-Gazette reported.

His trial is scheduled for the week of Sept. 26 at the Boone County Courthouse in Harrison, according to the newspaper.