Dean Hart Jr., a prominent Monroe businessman charged locally with kidnapping and sexually assaulting his estranged wife and holding police at bay for hours last December, was a no show at a hearing in 4th Judicial District Court on Tuesday.
Instead, Hart was cooling his heels in a Grant County, Ark., jail charged with driving while intoxicated and other charges including dragging an Arkansas State Police trooper with his automobile. The trooper was injured. Hart reportedly was driving 101 mph in a 60 mph zone.
A Grant County jail spokeswoman said Hart is charged with DWI, aggravated assault on a police officer, second-degree battery, driving left of center, fleeing a police officer, reckless driving and resisting arrest. His bond is set at $100,000. His blood alcohol content was measured at .30 percent.
“We’ve been told that the family wants to keep him here for several weeks so he can detox,” the spokeswoman said. “His lawyers are aware of everything he’s been charged with here.”
Hart was indicted in April by a Ouachita Parish grand jury for second-degree kidnapping, forcible rape, domestic abuse battery, possession of cocaine, two counts of aggravated assault of a police officer, one count of unlawful use of a laser on a police officer and resisting an officer by force.
Hart’s wife, Barbie, accused him of kidnapping and sexually assaulting her from Dec. 26 to Dec. 30. Since that time, Barbie Hart has recanted her story about the kidnapping and sexual assault.
At Tuesday’s scheduled hearing, Judge Benjamin Jones reminded Barbie Hart that just because she had recanted her story, she still is required to attend the next scheduled hearing, which was set for Sept. 23 at 1:30 p.m. Jones reminded her that only the district attorney’s office could drop charges previously filed against Dean Hart.
“If you’re not here, I’ll send a deputy for you,” Jones said.
Also Tuesday morning, Assistant District Attorney Neal Johnson filed a motion to revoke Dean Hart’s bail, stating “the defendant has violated the conditions of bail laid out by this court and has shown a repeated disregard for orders of this court.”
The motion was presented to Jones who issued a bench warrant for Hart’s arrest with no bond. Johnson said the district attorney’s office is preparing a writ for Hart’s return to Louisiana at which time a hearing will be set to determine his continued bail.
Tuesday’s hearing was scheduled so Hart’s defense team, headed by Michael Reese Davis, could request a bench trial instead of a trial by jury on the charges Hart faces from the December incident.
Back in December when Monroe police surrounded Hart’s residence in the upscale Louisianne subdivision, authorities reported Hart appeared outside his home with an assault rifle and a laser scoped handgun, which he pointed at police.
Hart, after spending time in a rehabilitation center in southern Louisiana, was out of jail on a $150,000 cash bond at the time of his arrest in Arkansas.
In Monday’s Arkansas incident. Arkansas State Police Public Information Officer Bill Sadler said Hart’s vehicle was stopped for speeding on U.S. Hwy. 167 just south of Sheridan. During a roadside interview and a subsequent sobriety test, Sadler said Hart made his way back into his pickup and sped away “as the state trooper tried to disengage the truck engine. He sustained minor injuries as he was dragged by the vehicle driven by Hart.”
After a brief pursuit, Sadler said Hart was taken into custody.