(HOT SPRINGS) A Montgomery County man accused of stabbing a man approximately sixteen times and putting his body in the trunk of a car pleaded innocent to a murder charge during a preliminary circuit court appearance in Hot Springs.
Prosecutors in Garland County charged Keith Edward Ashlock, 58, with first-degree murder stemming from an April traffic stop in which deputies found the body of a 65-year-old Jimmy Fryar in the trunk of Ashlock’s Cadillac.
Ashlock pleaded not guilty to the charge during a Monday court appearance. He faces a potential life sentence.
Authorities said they arrested him in Hot Springs after he reportedly ran from deputies by crashing a car through a fence and evaded deputies by climbing a building.
After a search of Ashlock’s car, sheriff’s deputies said they later found Fryar’s body inside the car’s trunk.
An autopsy showed Fryar had been stabbed at least 16 times in his neck and chest, according to the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record .
The medical examiner also found he suffered blunt injuries.
Ashlock reportedly told investigators he and Fryar had gotten into a fight on the day he died.
Circuit Judge John Homer Wright signed an order sealing the release of information, including police reports and other court documents.
The order also bars attorneys from publicly speaking about the case with Ashlock remaining in the Garland County jail with bond set at $200,000.