Deadbeat dad Jeremy Hutchinson, the convicted felon, former Republican senator and nephew of the governor, will remain in the county jail for now under a contempt order for failing to pay a half-million in child support to his former wife Stephanie for their three children.

The Arkansas Supreme Court decision today to deny his immediate release made a poor prophet of his lawyer, far-right Benton Republican Clint Lancaster, who’d confidently told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette last Friday, a day after Judge Alice Gray sent Hutchinson to the lockup that he’d be out of jail by today “at the latest.”


The court, in a brief order, rejected his request for a stay of the contempt orderl. There was a mishmash of opinions on his various requests, with only Justice Rhonda Wood favoring a stay of the contempt ruling. Justices Courtney Hudson, Shawn Womack and Barbara Webb would have denied the stay without prejudice, meaning he could make the request again because Lancaster had not yet filed a notice of appeal of the contempt order.

Webb, also from Benton, has employed Clint Lancaster’s wife and former law partner Jennifer as a law clerk. Wood, Womack and Webb, all of whom essentially have run for the non-partisan judgeships as Republicans, would have allowed Lancaster to supplement the record, while the other four justices would not.


Stephanie Hutchinson’s attorneys had fought the request for a stay. They also objected to Lancaster’s attempt to supplement the record because they said it was a “self-serving” motion that amounted to an incomplete and one-sided case record. Significant omissions included 28 exhibits in the case about Jeremy Hutchinson’s payment of only token child support over five years when he received hundreds of thousands in income and spent it on a “luxurious” lifestyle including a swimming pool for his new wife.

Hutchinson also has pending in circuit court, where Judge Cara Connors has succeeded retired Judge Gray, a motion to set aside the contempt finding or modify his $10,500-a-month child support agreement. The judge hasn’t ruled on that motion yet.

Lancaster also filed a bankruptcy petition for Hutchinson and had used that to justify his release from jail, an argument Stephanie Hutchinson’s lawyers said wasn’t supported by the law. Today, Lancaster submitted the order required by Bankruptcy Judge Richard Taylor to withdraw his motion that the bankruptcy judge release Hutchinson on an emergency basis. The judge had earlier said the bankruptcy filing was incomplete in several respects and gave Lancaster two weeks to supply the missing information. Critically missing is a plan for Hutchinson to pay remaining debts, such as child support, which cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.