CARROLL COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A probable cause affidavit filed in the Western Circuit Court of Carroll County on April 27 details “manic and delusional” behavior by Sheriff candidate Robert Kennedy that led to his arrest.
Kennedy, 38, was arrested on April 25 after multiple agencies were called to respond to a domestic disturbance at 1264 County Road 107, Kennedy’s mother’s residence. Kennedy’s brother, Austin Kennedy, an off-duty Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputy, was among those called, and he stated that he was told his brother “had made threats of violence toward Sheriff Jim Ross and his wife,” and had posted a video on social media that his mother described as “very bad.”
She added that she feared for his safety because of his “frame of mind.”
Austin Kennedy received a call from a patrol lieutenant at approximately 10:48 a.m. on April 25, followed immediately by a call from his mother, who put him on speaker phone as he proceeded to her residence. He stated that he heard his brother explaining in “an excited tone” that “they were on their way to arrest Sheriff Ross and bring [Robert Kennedy] his badge.”
The suspect then allegedly screamed at his mother and sister, demanding that they give him an AR-15 rifle at the residence. They tried to calm him down but “this only enraged Robert further.”
He continued to scream at the women, telling them that “the cops were after him” and that he needed the rifle. The affidavit states that he continued by threatening mass violence toward other law enforcement personnel.
When Austin Kennedy arrived, he stated that he “attempted multiple times to de-escalate Robert, with no success,” and that “Robert was in a manic and delusional state.” He succeeded in getting his brother to hand over a handgun strapped to his thigh, which he gave to his mother to place on the kitchen counter in the other room.
Robert Kennedy became more enraged and started walking toward the kitchen, where the gun was placed. When he didn’t stop, his brother pepper-sprayed him while “fearing for the safety of everyone.” This had “little effect,” so he followed up with a five-second cycle from his taser.
This was effective, causing the suspect to “stop his forward motion and fall to the ground,” where he was handcuffed. He was provided with initial treatment for the pepper spray before being turned over to another deputy.
Deputy Austin Kennedy was off-duty and recovering from shoulder surgery during the encounter. In the affidavit, he states that he is “deathly afraid of what Robert will do in his current mental state,” and that “[Robert Kennedy] has never exhibited violent/mental behavior on this level and to this degree in his whole life.”
The suspect was transported to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and taken into custody. He is facing the following charges:
- Terroristic threatening, first degree
- Residential burglary
- Battery, second degree
- Assault on a family or household member third degree, two counts
The prosecuting attorney recommended a bond amount of $100,000. Kennedy has an appearance scheduled in the Berryville Circuit Court of Carroll County on May 23 at 9:00 a.m.
An attachment signed by Judge Dale Ramsey states that Kennedy may be released without posting bond if he agrees to a voluntary commitment “directly to an inpatient hospital or a locked unit.”
Kennedy is one of five candidates on the Carroll County Sheriff Republican primary ballot.