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Court cases: bond set for Bauxite man charged with rape of juvenile; trial set for negligent homicide case

August 9, 2012

**Published earlier today in the Saline Courier. For complete local coverage, subscribe to our print edition.

A $50,000 sheriff's bond was set Wednesday for a Bauxite man accused of raping a 16-year-old boy multiple times.
Jonathan Solomon, 20, who is affiliated with the Army National Guard, is facing three counts of rape, three counts of sodomy and terroristic threatening. The victim reportedly told Bauxite police that the sexual abuse began when he was 15.
Benton District Judge Mike Robinson set the bond and Solomon is scheduled to appear again in district court at 1 p.m. on Sept. 11. Formal charges could be filed by the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney's Office at that time.
Solomon was arrested Monday at the Congo Road Valero gas station, authorities said. Reportedly Solomon told detectives that he met the victim at church and said he "was just trying to help him and give him guidance." He also reportedly admitted to having sexual relations with the victim on two separate occasions and said he knew the victim was only 15 during the first incident.
The victim reportedly told authorities that Solomon would come to his grandmother's home late at night while the grandmother was asleep and force him to submit to his sexual advances. Solomon also reportedly told the victim that he would kill him if he told anyone.
In another case, a trial has been set for 8:45 a.m. on Oct. 24 before Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister for a Sheridan man facing a charge of negligent homicide. Samuel James Smith, 20, is out of jail on a $10,000 sheriff's bond.
Authorities said that on Oct. 11, 2011, Smith was driving a 2003 Ford truck west on East Sardis Road; at the same time a 2007 Honda VTX motorcycle driven by James Higginbotham, 63, of Sheridan was eastbound on East Sardis Road. Smith reportedly turned onto Block Road, failing to notice Higginbotham, and the two collided head-on.
The report noted that Higginbotham attempted to stop before striking Smith's truck on the front passenger side. Higginbotham was transported to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, where he was pronounced dead.
It was noted in the report that a clear plastic bag containing suspected marijuana was found in Smith's vehicle.
Sheriff's Detective Ron Parsons said Smith also admitted to smoking marijuana before driving.

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