A cash-only $100,000 bond has been set for Taylor Elkins on two felony charges, citing possible involvement in the death of a former Fort Smith Public Schools substitute teacher as the reason for the amount.
Elkins, 21, of Fort Smith was arrested July 11 and charged with felony theft by receiving and hindering apprehension in connection with the suspected killing of William J. Dubois, 72, after Fort Smith police allegedly found her with Dubois' vehicle. Elkins in her arraignment Wednesday morning entered a plea of not guilty and was appointed a public defender.
Police on Wednesday did not give updates on if detectives suspect Elkins killed Dubois or if they had other suspects in the incident.
Police on July 11 allegedly found Elkins in Dubois' 2013 Ford Focus in the 4400 block of Armour Avenue after they found Dubois dead that day inside a South Greenwood Avenue duplex. Elkins initially told police an unidentified white man gave her the vehicle but later said she was given the car in exchange for sexual favors for Dubois, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Sebastian County Prosecutor Dan Shue during the arraignment told Circuit Judge Michael Fitzhugh he recommended the bond amount because of her "possible involvement in the murder" of Dubois.
Elkins during her arraignment Wednesday morning argued with County Circuit Judge Michael Fitzhugh about her charges after Shue's bond recommendation.
"You don't get to make the charges. The prosecutor does," Fitzhugh told Elkins.
Elkins remained in the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center on Wednesday afternoon in lieu of her bond, according to arrest records. Her case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor.
The Times Record on Tuesday requested all documents related to charges filed in connection with the death of Dubois from the Prosecutor's Office. Shue on Wednesday formally declined to fulfill the request in light of Fort Smith police's ongoing investigation, citing the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
Dubois from 1973-2003 taught as a substitute teacher at Fort Smith Public Schools and worked part-time in the school district athletic department, according to School District Executive Director of Communications Zena Featherston Marshall.