Arkansas defendant disappears during forgery trial


MURFREESBORO, Ark. — Authorities are searching for a Little Rock man who walked away in the middle of his forgery trial in Pike County.

Pike County Sheriff Travis Hill says 46-year-old Matthew Williams Jr. remains at large after he walked away from a Murfreesboro courthouse on Dec. 3.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that Williams disappeared as the jury was deliberating his case. He had been free on bond pending the outcome of the trial.

The jury convicted Williams of first-degree forgery and sentenced him to 40 years in prison.

Williams, who represented himself at trial, was accused of cashing counterfeit checks at businesses in Murfreesboro and Delight.

Authorities say Williams will face charges of failure to appear.