Kennett man gets 8 years for voluntary manslaughter in 2008 stabbing death

Saturday, May 2, 2009

KENNETT, Mo. -- A Caruthersville, Mo., man was recently sentenced to eight years in prison on involuntary manslaughter charges.

Max Arnold, 26, of Caruthersville appeared in court April 22 with his attorney, Andrew Bullard of Kennett, and entered a guilty plea for the accidental killing of Phillip Jarvas, 32, of Sullivan, Mo.

Arnold, who was originally charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action, received the charge of voluntary manslaughter following a plea agreement.

According to Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Steve Sokoloff, the charge was amended due to the lack of evidence to support the previous charges.

Arnold was arrested in late January following an investigation into Jarvas' death, who was found lying under a carport on East Fifth Street in Kennett.

According to police, at 11:49 a.m. Jan. 27, 2008, the department received a call saying there was a white male lying under the carport of the caller's home, appearing to be dead.

When officers arrived at the scene they found Jarvas' body in the carport. Authorities also concluded Jarvas had suffered a stab wound and blunt-force trauma to the head.

Police later located a pocketknife near the scene, which was determined to be the weapon used in the stabbing.

As officers canvassed the area looking for witnesses, one witness told the police that he had observed Jarvas arguing with another man earlier that night, who was later identified as Arnold.

According to the witness, Jarvas had been harassing people at the residence and picking fights.

According to the police report, Jarvas initiated a fight with Arnold, who, according to the witness, struck Jarvas over the head with a beer bottle.

The witness said that about 10 minutes later, Jarvas returned to the residence with a four-way lug wrench, which he used to strike Arnold. The witness said at that point, Arnold took out a pocketknife and stabbed Jarvas in the chest.

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