HOT SPRING COUNTY, AR – While looking through the list of 96 sex offenders on the Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office website, I noticed some easily verifiable factual errors and mistakes on some of the profiles. I also found that some of the offenders’ photos were not very clear or distinguishable.
Upon finding these inaccuracies, I compiled a short list of a few possible corrections and emailed the Sheriff’s Office. The mistakes I highlighted were as follows:
- Ashley Niel McMillion was listed as living at “1249 Gifford Rd. LEOLA, AR 72084,” but no Gifford Road exists in Leola.
- Joe Edie Bohannon's picture was tinted yellow and parts of his face were cropped out.
- Zachary Scott Cromp's picture was very blurry.
- Don Curtis Hamby Jr. was listed as living at “218 FRANICO RD. Malvern, Ar 72104.” There is no Franico Road in Malvern. His picture was also blurry.
- Noble Solom May was covering part of his face in his photo.
These errors have all since been corrected, but similar mistakes still persist on the registry.
On Eric Bryan Ashley’s page, for example, it says that “Ashley is in a wheelchair and is a quad.” Further down, the word “victim is misspelled “vivtim.” Ashely is a non-assessed sex offender. Other spelling inconsistencies can be found on various pages, creating an apparent lack of consistency for the site.
David Matt Finley’s page has no photo available while Johnny Dewayne Ebarb, a level four sex offender (considered the most dangerous classification), has a very blurry photo that’s hard to make out. Another level four offender, Paul Lupe Urban, is wearing sunglasses in his photo.
In my email, I asked a few questions to better understand the system and how mistakes like this could have been made. The questions are as follows:
- Should there be a system in place that helps the Sheriff's Office from entering addresses that don't exist?
- What is the standard of quality for photographs? In a driver's license photo, people are not allowed to cover their faces or wear hats/hoodies. Should the same standards (or higher) apply to the sex offender registry?
- Since Hot Spring County is where a lot of sex offenders are released, what is being done to monitor offenders and make sure they report their status?
The HSCSO has not yet responded to attempts at contact.
On the website, there is a disclaimer that reads: “The addresses posted on this offender registry by the Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office may be in error due to the improper reporting by the offenders. Please report any errors to the Hot Spring County Sheriff’s Office.”