January 3, 2018
BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA) -- Two Bella Vista Police Department employees have been fired and are being investigated by Benton County authorities, Bella Vista Police Chief James Graves said.
Detective Clayton Roberts and Mike Kugler, an evidence custodian for the police department, were fired on December 20, 2017, after members of the department noticed discrepancies in the evidence room.
Due to the pending investigation by the Benton County Prosecutor Nathan Smith, Graves would not say exactly how Roberts and Kugler mishandled the evidence.
Graves said once the first discrepancy was found, an internal audit was started within the organization.
That led the police chief to request assistance from both Smith and the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
Smith said at this point in the investigation, the goal is to determine if the two former Bella Vista Police Department employees will face criminal liability and if there will be a need to reexamine the evidence in previous cases.