Police nab suspect in beating
Investigators say victim was beaten and stabbed throughout Friday
By Terri Richardson and Lynn LaRowe
The suspect in a severe domestic battery case will appear before a Miller County district judge today as the victim’s mother prays for healing and for justice.
Heath Shane Dickerson, 27, was arrested about 11 a.m. Monday in the 300 block of East 38th Street in Texarkana, Ark., by the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department, said Officer Kristi Mitchell, TAPD spokesman.
Dickerson was seen by a neighbor Monday morning as he reportedly was entering the same house where Brittany Nicole Gerber, 26, was found beaten and stabbed on Friday, Mitchell said.
“It was determined during the investigation that the suspect ... beat and hit Gerber throughout the day after he became angry with her,” said Mitchell. “During the altercation, Dickerson stabbed Gerber numerous times on the head and neck, causing serious injuries.”
Gerber was discovered after her co-workers went to the residence to check on her when she did not show up for work, Mitchell said.
The suspect fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival, said Mitchell.
A warrant for Dickerson’s arrest on a felony, first-degree domestic battery charge was issued prior to his arrest, Mitchell said.
After he was arrested by TAPD officers, Dickerson was taken to the Bi-State Justice Building and has since been transferred to the Miller County Correctional Facility.
Meanwhile, the victim is receiving medical attention.
“It’s going to be a long, hard, terrible process,” said Gerber’s mother, Melanie Long, of the recovery the victim has ahead of her. “We’re just praying every day that she gets better.”
Long says her daughter told her she was beaten over a period of hours.
Long’s daughter told her there was a belt around her neck used to choke her and she was beaten in the face and neck with a 10-pound dumbbell weight and fists.
Long said Gerber was also stabbed with a butter knife countless times and the knife was used to cut her ears. One of Gerber’s ears required reattachment, Long said.
Long said Gerber’s jaw is wired shut after being broken in three places. Gerber’s neck is broken as are many other bones in her face, Long said.
A ventilator, which was being used to help Gerber breathe, was removed Monday morning, Long said.
The ventilator was necessary because the swelling in Gerber’s face and neck were restricting her airway, Long said.
Dickerson is not serving a term of probation in either Miller or Bowie counties, according to officials.
In 2007, Dickerson was sentenced to serve 180 days in jail for assault, resisting arrest, evading arrest and criminal trespass, records show.
Once investigators with the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department have completed their investigation, the case file will be delivered to the prosecutor’s office serving Miller County. Based on the information in the file, prosecutors will determine with what crimes they will charge Dickerson.
If convicted of first-degree battery, Dickerson faces five to 20 years in an Arkansas prison. Kidnapping carries a penalty of five to 20 years as well.
I am not sure there is a book big enough to throw at this guy.