A Van Buren man who had to be forcibly removed from a Crawford County courtroom after he had a sexual assault conviction revoked for violating the court’s order to have no contact with the minor victim now faces drug and resisting arrest charges.
Kenneth William Burris, 26, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Crawford County Circuit court to possession of methamphetamine and resisting arrest. He is charged as a habitual offender.
The public defender’s office entered the not guilty plea for Burris and waived formal arraignment before Judge Gary R. Cottrell.
Burris is being held in the Crawford County Detention Center, awaiting a bed in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
Burris yelled profanities and made threats Aug. 17 after Cottrell sentenced Burris to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with an additional 10 years suspended.
Burris had asked if he could say goodbye to his fiancee, who had testified in his defense and was in the courtroom.
After Cottrell denied the request, Burris became violent when he was ordered from the courtroom. He was gang tackled and led from the courtroom by bailiff Mark Bloomfield, probation officer Kyla Payton, Arkansas State Police Trooper Dale Howard, Prosecutor Marc McCune, Deputy Prosecutor Shane Griffin, Cpl. Linda Phillips of the sheriff’s department and court assistant Anthony Whitman.
After Burris was booked into the detention center, Deputy Garrett Henry found a container of phone cards which included a small white rock which tested positive as methamphetamine, according to an incident report.
On April 13, 2015, Burris pleaded guilty to rape and two counts of second-degree sexual assault and had a 15-year prison sentence suspended on the condition he be on probation for five years, pay a $1,000 fine and $170 court costs, register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victims.
According to police reports, Burris was arrested after two minor females reported to Hamilton House Child Safety Center staff that he had sexually assaulted them.
During the Aug. 17 hearing, one of the minor victims testified she had contact with Burris on more than one occasion. Burris testified the contact was the fault of the victim and her mother, not his.
Lisa Whetstine of the prosecuting attorney’s office also testified Burris had not made regular payments toward a $1,000 fine and $170 court costs.
While in prison, Burris was ordered to complete the sexual offender program.