Formal charges have been filed against 52-year-old Searcy County Judge Jimmy “Jim” Dale Harness, who was taken into custody Friday evening following a domestic disturbance.
Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell says Harness has been charged with breaking or entering a building or structure, a Class D felony; first-degree criminal mischief/property of another with value of more than $1,000 and less than $5,000, a Class D felony; and interference with emergency communications, a Class A misdemeanor. Harness was arrested after reportedly being located at his estranged wife’s residence without her permission. He was transported to the Searcy County Detention Center after officers from the sheriff’s office and the Marshall Police Department responded to a 911 call.
During the initial investigation, law enforcement officers learned the front door of the residence was “kicked or forced in” and was inoperable, as well as a window. Once Harness was in the house, he began harassing his estranged wife and her guest. Sheriff Cassell says Harness also attempted to stop the victim from calling for help by taking her cellphone.
On Monday, a Searcy County District Court judge reviewed the affidavit and found sufficient cause to transfer the case to circuit court.