Suspects in Death of Piggott Woman Plead Guilty

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller escorts Robert Huffines and Lea Mamino into court for their initial appearance last October.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller reports the two people charged in the death of Sadine Dixon, of Piggott, pleaded guilty on Thursday, March 30, in Circuit Court in Piggott.

Dixon, 84, was killed during a police chase the morning of Sunday, Oct. 2, as her vehicle collided with one driven by a Clay County sheriff's deputy at an intersection in Rector. According to reports, the chase began around mid-morning in Kennett as officers attempted to stop a vehicle reported stolen from Collinsville, Ill.

The Arkansas State Police identified the driver of the vehicle as Robert Huffines, 36, who listed an address in Holcomb, Mo., while the passenger was identified as Lea Mamino, 32, of Collinsville, Ill.

The pursuit continued from Kennett to Campbell, then across the state line at St. Francis as the suspects led authorities onto rural roads northwest of the community. A short time later the chase continued back onto Highway 62 west, with the suspect vehicle turning south on Highway 139 just east of Piggott. At Holly Island the suspects fled west, and continued toward Rector on U.S. 49 at Hargrave Corner.

According to reports, at 10:35 a.m. Dep. Terry Burdin spotted the suspect vehicle and joined the chase near Rector. As the deputy pursued the suspects through the city, his vehicle collided with one being driven by Dixon near the Pine Street rail crossing on West Ninth Street.

The accident report from the ASP indicated Dixon was southbound, and had pulled to the right shoulder of the highway as the subjects approached. She then apparently pulled back onto the roadway, into the path of Burdin's vehicle. Due to the impact, Dixon's vehicle overturned in the ditch between the highway and railroad, and she was ejected. A short time later she was pronounced dead at the scene.

ASP and local law enforcement continued to pursue the vehicle to Paragould, as Huffines and Mamino eluded them along several city streets. The chase ended at 11:01 a.m. as the pair crashed the SUV into a concrete retaining wall outside the Walgreens store at the corner of U.S. Highways 49 and 412. They were then taken into custody and transported to the Greene County Jail.

The following Tuesday morning both appeared for a probable cause hearing in Clay County Circuit Court in Piggott, before Judge Dan Ritchey. According to the complaint, read by Dep. Pros. Atty. Mike Trail, the two were both charged with fleeing and eluding, theft by receiving, possession of drug paraphernalia for the consumption of methamphetime and other traffic offenses related to the chase. At the time, both were also charged with first degree murder, in connection with the death of Dixon.

The complaint further noted the suspects operated the stolen vehicle at speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour, and both were "highly intoxicated" when arrested. According to Miller, toxicology tests were made although the results were not currently available.

Judge Ritchey ordered both Huffines and Mamino held in lieu of $500,000 cash bond pending their next court appearance.

Thursday Hiffines pleaded guilty to manslaughter, fleeing, theft by receiving and DWI and will reportedly be sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison. Meanwhile, Mamino pleaded guilty to manslaughter, fleeing and theft by receiving and will reportedly serve 25 years in prison.

Following their court appearances they were scheduled to be transferred to the custody of the Arkansas Department of Corrections for imposement of their sentences.

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