Izard County
Sheriff's Office
Melbourne, Arkansas
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Melbourne, AR 72556

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Following an attempted  traffic stop by  Deputy Phil Story on West Road  around 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning  and ending at Reeves Cemetery where the pursued vehicle could go no further, resulted in the arrest of the driver.  The driver of the vehicle, identified as Lincoln Dwain Fulbright, age 21 of Batesville,  was   arrested  on charges of fleeing, failure transfer title, and operating a vehicle without insurance.

A passenger of the vehicle exited the vehicle on foot and ran into the nearby heavily wooded area.  Deputy Story called dispatch for assistance and other officers including Sheriff Tate Lawrence assisted in trying to locate the passenger.  Fulbright told investigating officers that he had picked up the passenger in Cushman and didn’t know his name other than maybe a first name of David. The passenger’s dog remained with the vehicle and when the vehicle was towed, the dog was left at cemetery by deputies knowing fairly well that the dog would reunited  with the fleeing passenger. Later in the morning, around 8:30 a.m.. ,  a  Melbourne business notified the sheriff’s office that a suspicious individual with a dog was at their business.  Deputy Story responded to the business and obtained the individual’s name but the individual and his dog fled Deputy Story. In the process it was determined that the individual was the passenger who fled from Reeves Cemetery and that he had an absconder warrant from the Arkansas Department of Correction.     

When Story and Sheriff Lawrence again made contact  on a remote Melbourne Street with  the absconder, identified as Mervin Sanders of Batesville, he  and his dog fled into a heavily wooded area.  After a brief foot chase, Sheriff Lawrence request assistance from the Calico Unit-Arkansas Department of Correction  dog team and the Baxter County aviation unit.  During a five hour search involving the dog team, the Baxter County  helicopter, Arkansas Game and Fish officers, 16th Judicial Task Force agent,  and additional Izard County deputies,  Sanders was able to avoid capture.  During the extensive search for Sanders,  Fulbright admitted  that he had known the real identity of his passenger but had not provided the correction information to deputies at Reeves Cemetery.  In addition to absconder warrant,  Sanders   is facing other charges including two counts of fleeing which the Izard County Sheriff Department will aggressively pursued. .

Fulbright is facing additional charges to include obstructing governmental operations.  Fulbright posted bond on his original charges Sunday in the amount of $1,690 and was given a court date.


News Release                                    Note: Pictures of Fulbright and Sanders provided.

For Immediate Release

October 1, 2012

POC: Sheriff Tate Lawrence

870 368 4203   

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