Jury sentences man to life for killing his wife

Stabbed while on the phone asking a dispatcher for help, “you could hear her scream,” prosecutor says

Man sentenced to life for killing his wife; "you could hear her scream," prosecutor says

LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Ark. (KSLA) — Life in prison.

That’s the sentence meted for a Southwest Arkansas man who fatally stabbed his wife while she was on the phone asking a dispatcher for help.

It happened in September 2018 in the 500 block of Rose Street in Lewisville, Ark.

Earlier this month, Ardell Burnell pleaded guilty to killing 27-year-old Lewisville, Ark., resident Crystal Burnell.

His sentencing trial started Wednesday and ended Thursday morning with a Lafayette County, Ark., jury taking less than an hour to decide the punishment for the 41-year-old.

“The jury was able to here the chilling account of her begging for help and asking for an ambulance. You could hear her scream,” said Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Barrett, who was pleased with the sentence.

Police body camera video shows the aftermath of the murder, she said.

“He immediately told the officers he had committed murder. When the officers arrived, he was leaned up against the neighbors’ car calmly smoking a cigarette, showing absolutely no remorse whatsoever.”

There is no parole for a life sentence in Arkansas, Barrett said.


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