Billy Green, Bonnie Hensley Cantrell, Carl Allen Elliott, Chad Green, Dalton AR, Eleven Point River, Felicia Elliott, Judge Harold Erwin, murder, Pocahontas AR, Rob Sammons, Steve Huddleston, Warm Springs AR
©2012 Hill ’n Holler Review
Pocahontas, Ark. — After a tumultuous day in court that left prosecution witness Bonnie Hensley Cantrell alone and sobbing on the witness stand after she had uttered the words “I met Billy Green in a parking lot when I was 15; it wasn’t romantic — we just traded sex for drugs,” proceedings in the Billy Green murder trial Thursday ground to an abrupt halt.
This caused a defense and prosecution conference with Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Harold J. Erwin that ended with Erwin slamming down his folder and leaving the courtroom for the day.
The jury was excused, Billy Green was escorted out, law enforcement officials walked around the court room and Bonnie remained on the witness stand alternately sobbing and looking confused.
This is the second prosecution witness Thursday to possibly get booted by Green’s attorneys Dale Adams and James Wyatt. Earlier in the day they successfully objected to the appearance of a Craighead County Sheriff’s Department jailer Jesse Hanks; after a 55-minute “break” Hanks did not reappear.
Star witness for the Prosecution was jailhouse snitch, Phillip Shockey. Shockey, 47, got on the stand and said that the 1998 home invasion murder of the Dalton family of four was not over a drug deal gone bad. No, he said, Billy’s son Charles “Chad” Green was in love with little 8-year-old Felicia Elliott, and when her parents, especially Carl Allen, objected, he killed them all and drove off with Felicia in the trunk of the red Thunderbird that belonged to Lisa Elliott’s mother. Shockey then said that Chad took Felicia home with him and kept her in a trash barrel until he was tired of her and then asked daddy Billy Green to take care of it. Shockey said Chad had said he couldn’t kill her because he loved her. Shockey said that Billy Green told him he shoved her face down in water. He said that he raised his son up to take care of things, but that he did not raise him up to be a pedophile.
Shockey is currently being incarcerated in Fort Worth Texas with a release date of 2017. The snitch was incarnated for a long laundry list of drug and white collar type crimes . He said he met Billy Green at the Arkansas Department of Corrections at a facility called Barracks 17. He said that Billy came up to him and started talking about the case because he thought that he liked sex with young girls too. He quoted Billy as saying that he liked “sex with young girls, The younger the better.”
Shockey denied any previous knowledge of the Green case, said he didn’t want to know about it. He said he was from northwest Arkansas and Salisaw, Okla.
Under cross examination Shockey admitted that he did not contact the Arkansas prosecution through the U.S. Attorney’s office until after his appeal had been turned down. The glib witness was loath to admit that by testifying he was seeking to qualify to get his sentence cut under the ruling that allows someone who turns state’s evidence to get their sentence cut in half.
Shockey reluctantly admitted to writing numerous letters to 3rd Judicial District prosecutors, including Richard Castleman, seeking to gather more information for them in return for requested transfers and favors.
One of his letters said he was eager to assist and said if he was transferred to where Chad was being held, he might be of further assistance. In one of the letters he said he might come up with “more violent knowledge on the Greens.” Asked if his requests were granted, Shockey said they were not
The defense accused Shockey of getting into Billy Green’s papers in his lock box to find out about the case. Shockey denied it.
Prosecution attorney Jack McQuary noted that the vast majority of inmates want to get out early. Shockey responded that if he didn’t get anything from the state, he still wouldn’t change his story.
During opening testimony Thursday the prosecution called law enforcement officials former Randolph County Sheriff Rob Sammons and former Arkansas State Police investigator Steve Huddleston to set the crime scene and develop a time line and document the amount of blood work done. They also flashed photographs of the crime scene and the victims on a big screen TV for the jury and open court. Dispatcher Eddie Rose documented receiving a phone call from Lisa’s mother, who lived in Corning, Ark. She reported her daughter was screaming at 12:22 a.m. on July 30 and he dispatched a welfare check. He said the check came back all clear.
At 6:31 a.m. Mary Thomas called back and said her daughter was dead on the front porch.
Sheriff Sammons said he did the first walk through, found Gregory Elliott, 6, obviously dead in the living room of the Dalton home. He cleared the house and continued to look for Lisa. She was not dead on her own porch. He went across the street and then went toward her father’s trailer behind and kitty corner to the Elliott house. Lisa was on the front porch there, dead with her desperate bloody hand print left on the trailer door.
According to Sammons, the missing husband, Carl Allen, was found after 6 p.m the next day, Aug. 1, face down in the Eleven Point River. He said the red Thunderbird was parked on the bank, with the keys in the ignition and no one in the trunk.
Despite a 50-man state police search grid of the area, the remains of 8-year-old Felicia were not found until Sept 7, 2000, discovered by some turkey hunters in a creek approximately a half mile from Billy Green’s Warm Springs Townsend Road home. They emphasized that Felicia was found about 12 and a half miles from her Dalton home.
Huddleston testified to the amount of blood work taken at the home, inside and out, including the window where Lisa crawled through in her effort to escape. He identified the tire iron as a murder weapon
On the cross, Adams asked Sammons and Huddleston if they found Lisa’s purse or Carl’s wallet, a pill bottle, a child’s vest, cigarette butts, what happened to the eyeglasses, if they checked the sink traps, or swabbed glasses, the answer was no on all counts.
— Caroll Lucas
For links to previous Hill ’n Holler stories on Billy and Chad Green, go HERE.