Murder Case Against Principal Dismissed

Rocky Dodson, a former high school principal and basketball coach from Arkansas, who was charged with the murder of his wife in March 2022, has had his case dismissed by prosecutors. Despite his resignation following the charges, Dodson has consistently maintained his innocence. The decision to drop the case came after new information suggested that the death of 36-year-old Amanda Dodson may have been the result of a fall.

The Boone County officials’ decision to dismiss the case comes just two months before Dodson was due to stand trial. This development follows arguments made by Dodson’s defense attorney, Shane Wilkinson, who contended that investigators had prematurely concluded that his client was responsible for the “blunt force” injury to Amanda Dodson’s throat. The injury occurred in the early hours of March 6, 2022, at the couple’s home in Omaha.

Wilkinson argued that the state had overlooked the possibility that Amanda Dodson’s death could have been caused by a fall while she was heavily intoxicated. He suggested that she might have hit her throat on an object like a countertop. The defense attorney also pointed out that the deceased’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .468 at the time of her death.

When the second-degree murder case first emerged, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office stated that Amanda Dodson had died from a “severe injury.” They cited investigative findings and medical examiner reports to support the charge. At the time, Rocky Dodson was the principal of Omaha High School and also coached the boys’ basketball team. The news of his arrest shocked the school district superintendent, as Amanda Dodson had worked as a secretary in the Omaha and Cotter school districts.

In a surprising turn of events, the Fourteenth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney’s Office decided to dismiss the case on Friday. They concluded that the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, as the cause of death remains “undetermined.”

Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge explained that they had initially been told that the incident could not have been an accident. However, new information from the defense lawyers led to a change in the medical examiner’s stance. The examiner, Dr. Cunningham, revised his initial statement that the incident could not have been an accident or resulted from an accidental fall.

The investigation into Amanda Dodson’s death began when Rocky Dodson called 911 to report that he had found his wife dead on the morning of March 6, 2022. He claimed that he had let her into the house when she returned home intoxicated after 2 a.m. and then went back to sleep.

In a statement, defense attorney Wilkinson criticized the premature arrest of his client, stating that it occurred “before a single witness was interviewed” and “before the toxicology results were available.” He also pointed out that the autopsy report, released in May 2022, listed the cause of death as ‘undetermined,’ a fact that has been known for 736 days.