It is truly disgraceful, but Kirk Lane was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson as Arkansas Drug Czar on August 7, 2017. It was 8 years earlier that the mayor of Benton (Saline County, Arkansas), Rick Holland, chose Lane to be his Police Chief, albeit under a great deal of protest from some city counsel members and a very large number of Benton residents. The controversy centered around the allegations in the documentary video, “Obstruction of Justice: The Mena Connection” in which Kirk Lane and Jay Campbell are named as the suspected killers of Kevin and Don.
The protests began weeks previously when it became apparent that Holland was considering his “best friend, Kirk” for the job. Although Holland consistently said he was not going to choose Lane, he did so over Christmas break. When everyone returned to work, Lane was the new police chief. In an unusual procedure, some counsel members called for a vote to override Holland’s choice. To do so would take 7 votes out of the 10 council members.
On the evening of January 10, there was a standing-room-only crowd, and many spoke passionately about not wanting Lane as police chief.
Councilmen met in private to vote with the outcome of 5 to oust Lane and 4 to keep him, which fell short of the 2/3 required number to outs him. There was one council member absent. Holland put him in the “keep him” column.
Lane declared a great victory, but it’s hard to see how great it was. when more than half the council present wanted him gone.
During interviews before the council meeting, the subject of his being a suspect in the murders always came up. Lane then brings up the defamation law suit he and Campbell filed against the “Obstruction of Justice” documentary producer, Pat Matrisciana. He says that the lawsuit served to restore his credibility since 12 jurors agreed with him that he was defamed.
There’s a a bit of a problem with Lane’s reasoning. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the juror’s decision. One reason was because the trial judge did not not allow the jury to hear all of the evidence that pointed to Campbell and Lane as the killers. The appellate court felt that the jurors should have reached a different verdict, so it reversed the verdict. Again, it’s hard to see how Lane can claim vindication.
Apparently, he doesn’t actually feel vindicated, because he told a Benton Courier reporter for an article published January 13, 2009, “This is a burden I’ve carried on my shoulders for a long time.” No higher authority can take away the 8th Circuit Court findings, so it’ll be on his shoulders as long as we continue to publish the appellate court’s opinion.
The 8th Circuit Court opinion direct excerpt of an interview recounting the experience of a witness only hours after the train ran over the boys:
an unmarked police car pulled up and two men in plain clothes got out and . . . one of them was Kirk Lane, who used to work for the Benton Police Department, and the other guy he did not know but he was a large man. The two boys and these two cops got into an argument and the two cops beat the boys unconscious and threw them into the car and then drove off.
The Benton Courier reported that the FBI agent in charge of the murder investigation testified in the defamation trial that she was “allowed to question Lane and Campbell, but this is an error. She actually said at trial that she was not allowed to question Lane or Campbell (although she made a request to her superiors to do so). Neither Lane nor Campbell have ever been questioned or interviewed by anyone.
This website team will make an offer to Lane. If he wants to finally lift the burden, he can take an out-of-state polygraph test and answer up to 10 simple questions about the night the boys were murdered. If he passes, we’ll publish the results on the home page of this website with our apologies. If he doesn’t agree, he’ll have to live with the burden, which will get heavier and heavier.