The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has arrested 38 year old KRISTY SHAY LEEDHAM-JOHNSTON of rural Mountain Home on a charge of Murder in the First Degree following an investigation that began Saturday evening, May 20th.
At approximately 6:58 PM Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office was asked to send a deputy to an address on Baxter CR 672 to speak to a man in regards to having someone removed from a house at a different location. The caller told the deputy that a man had been “hanging around” his daughter, identified as KRISTY SHAY LEEDHAM-JOHNSTON, for the past couple of days. He said his daughter had been “acting up”, and he requested a welfare check on her at a residence on Old Arkana Road.
Two deputies then went to the address on Old Arkana Road. When they arrived at the residence and approached the front door, deputies found a deceased male laying partially outside of the open threshold of the doorway. Deputies observed blood on and about the body.
Deputies then went to the back side of the residence and found KRISTY LEEDHAM-JOHNSTON outside peeking into the residence through the back door. When deputies called to her, she immediately raised her hands and spontaneously stated, “He’s a really bad guy. I did what I had to do to get away”.
A search warrant for the premises was obtained and executed after 11 PM. A wound consistent with a bullet entry was found on the decedent’s body. The decedent was identified as 48 year old MARK DENNIS MUCHA of Mountain Home. Just outside of the residence, a handgun and knife were found that had been concealed. These, and other items of evidentiary value, were seized by investigators.
KRISTY LEEDHAM-JOHNSTON was advised of her rights by an investigator and asked to answer questions about the incident. She requested an attorney and would not answer. She was then taken to the Baxter County Detention Center and booked on a charge of:
Murder in the First Degree, a Class Y Felony. A probable cause affidavit was submitted to a judicial officer with a bond of $250,000. She will appear before the Circuit Court to answer at a later date.
The body of the decedent was removed from the premises by the Baxter County Coroner’s Office.