The case files on three men suspected in the Feb. 8, 2018, stabbing death of Christopher Alvard and his dog near Eureka Springs were unsealed Wednesday and show details of the 3-year-old killing.
Joshua Loyd Anderson, Charles Ky Hanna and Jason Hartley Helm are all charged with first-degree murder and cruelty to animals in the case that was under investigation for almost three years before they were arrested Feb. 8, the anniversary of the discovery of Alvard’s body.
Prosecuting Attorney Robert T. Rogers recused from the case because he had represented “the principal suspect” in the case in several criminal matters in the past, records show.
Little Rock lawyer John “Jack” McQuary was appointed as special prosecutor. The case files were sealed on Jan. 28.
Online court records show that Helm was a suspect in Alvard’s murder at least as of Feb. 26, 2018, when Circuit Judge Scott Jackson signed an order to require Helm submit a DNA sample to be tested against evidence collected at the scene.
Arkansas State Police Special Agent Dale Bailey filed an affidavit requesting the DNA sample from Helm on Feb. 23, 2018.
According to the affidavit, Alvard’s family members were unable to make contact with him at his residence on County Road 116 near Eureka Springs. Alvard’s mother went to the residence, finding the door had been kicked in and there was a large amount of blood on the porch.
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office was notified and responded to the scene, where they discovered the body of Alvard and his dog. An autopsy revealed Alvard had been hit in the head at least twice and had multiple stab wounds. The dog also showed multiple stab wounds, the affidavit said. State Police were asked to help with the investigation.
“During the course of this murder investigation, Jason Helm has emerged as the main suspect,” Bailey wrote in 2018.
Information from sources and interviews indicated Helm had been communicating with people during the timeframe of the murder and was trying to get a ride from the area of Helm’s residence.
“Information received stated that Helm has made the statement to an unknown person that Helm had gotten into an altercation with a guy and his dog and that it went bad and that he thought he left his DNA at the crime scene,” the affidavit said.
Helm was arrested Feb. 16, 2018, on a warrant for parole violation. While held in the Carroll County Jail, Helm allegedly made a phone call, which was recorded, in which he said he thought police had been following him through Facebook because he was using the social media platform through WiFi.