Family hopes new sentence produces new information
SEARCY (KATV) -
More than 50 Arkansas inmates sentenced to life in prison as teenagers are getting one chance at leaving prison before they die.
One of them may hold the key to a decades-old unsolved murder.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that to lock a person up for life with no chance at parole for a crime committed while a minor is cruel and unusual punishment.
So Derrick Grubbs was back in White County for a hearing on Tuesday.
21 years ago Grubbs was sentenced to life without parole after admitting that he killed his Bald Knob classmate Kenyatta Haynes.
"I believe that he was appropriately sentenced to life without parole so I'm going to be requesting the harshest sentence possible which is going to be life," says prosecutor Becky McCoy.
Haynes' family left without comment after seeing the now nearly 40-year-old Grubbs for the first time in nearly two decades.
Grubbs parents also left without comment.
But there was another family at the hearing.
"I'm here just trying to look for justice for my sister," says Christopher Bolles.
Bolles was 20 when his 15-year-old sister Robin disappeared on her way to school just five weeks before the murder of Kenyatta Haynes.
Grubbs had a co-defendant in that murder…18-year-old Donnie Tempel...who was also sentenced to life without parole.
While awaiting trial Tempel told a jailer that months earlier Grubbs had taken him to a location off Old Russell road and showed him the badly beaten body of their classmate, Robin Farnsworth.
Almost three years later her remains were found by a hunter only 100 yards from the location Tempel described.
Farnsworth's family would like to see Robin's murder solved and plan to encourage the prosecutor to offer Grubbs or Tempel a deal in exchange for information.
"I haven't really made any definite contacts anywhere yet,” says Bolles. “I'm trying to get all my facts together and then I'm going to just go to them and try to present something."
There are at least 90 days until Grubbs' next court appearance...which is plenty of time for offers to be made and considered.
That court appearance is set for June 5.
Air date: February 28th, 2017