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Former Arkansas Weatherman Will Not Be Charged in Hot Tub Death

In Arkansas, Leaving the Biz, Little Rock-Pine Bluff, NBC, Weather on January 10, 2012 at 12:16 am

Brett Cummins (Courtesy: KARK)

Even though the appearance of guilt more than likely cost him his job, former Little Rock meteorologist Brett Cummins will not be charged in the September 2011 death of his friend, 24-year-old Dexter Williams.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports former KARK employee Cummins was found beside Williams in a hot tub on Labor Day. Investigators found traces of blood in the hot tub, but no water was present.

Here’s why Cummins wasn’t charged.

From the Arkansas Business website:

[Pulaski County prosecutor Larry] Jegley said in a phone interview Friday that in cases such as Williams’ sudden death, if a crime as defined by the state’s criminal code had been committed, “there’s a pretty high burden of proof.” If forensic and physical evidence and witness statements do not support that a crime has been committed, then no charges are filed, he said.

“We don’t delve into whether something was accidental. We don’t get into particulars, beyond what the forensic evidence shows. Wesimply determined that no criminal charges were appropriate,” Jegley said.

Another friend who lived at the home, Christopher Barbour, told authorities all three men got into the hot tub, but he left later that night. The next day, Barbour found the two men still in the tub and Cummins was snoring.

At that point, they determined Williams was unconscious and his face had turned a different color. The medical examiner ruled Dexter died of asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen, as well as drug intoxication.

Cummins resigned from the NBC affiliate after the incident.

There’s no word on whether or not Williams’ full autopsy will be released.

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