Formal charges are pending against a local mixed martial arts (MMA) studio owner suspected of killing a Texas man at a music festival in Greenbrier last month.
After learning 24-year-old Austin Michael Dodson of Texas died by strangulation at the Flux Family Festival — a three-day music festival that was held March 16-18 at the Cadron Creek Outfitters — authorities pinpointed 34-year-old Anthony Paul Flick as the man who allegedly killed Dodson.
"Through the investigation, the sheriff's office has probable cause to believe that the Flux security team's actions resulted in the death of Mr. Dodson," Faulkner County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Matt Rice said earlier this week.
Flick, a security team member at the festival, reportedly alerted authorities that Dodson was "asleep in the road" on the night in question.
Flick was extradited to the Faulkner County Detention Center on Tuesday after being picked up by the US Marshals Service on Thursday in Anderson, Missouri.
Rice said local authorities learned Flick had family in Missouri and worked in collaboration with the US Marshals in locating Flick, who is now being held in the Faulkner County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 bond. Online records show Flick was booked into the county jail at 3:39 p.m. Tuesday.
Following Flick's capture, the Log Cabin Democrat learned Flick is a local Faulkner County resident who owns the Triumph MMA & Fitness center in Greenbrier.
Flick, who was scheduled to appear in Greenbrier District Court for trial regarding three misdemeanor drug charges on March 27, was unable to make it to his court appearance. Chris Murray, who represents Flick regarding the misdemeanor charges, said the trial was continued to July 17 on the defense's behalf and confirmed Flick was excused from the hearing and that a failure to appear charge was not issued against him last week.
The sheriff's office was first alerted of a disturbance at the Flux Family Festival around 11 p.m. March 17. An off-duty sheriff's deputy was working the festival when a staff member, later identified as Flick, rushed to the top of the hill where the deputy was parked and told him "there was a problem with a guy and [that] he was asleep," Rice told the Log Cabin.
Festival-goers and staff members helped to perform CPR on the unconscious 24-year-old Texas man until first responders arrived on scene. The man was then taken by ambulance to Baptist Medical Center in Conway shortly after midnight on the night in question, where he was later pronounced dead. Faulkner County Coroner Jessica Thorn previously told the Log Cabin she requested the State Crime Lab to perform an autopsy on Dodson due to the man's age and other contributing factors, noting Dodson's face had already turned blue by the time first responders had arrived on scene.
The medical examiner at the State Crime Lab later determined Dodson's death was caused by strangulation and the sheriff's office is now asking that manslaughter charges be filed against Flick, who was captured by the US Marshals Service on March 29.
Rice said the sheriff's office has since sent a case file over to the prosecuting attorney's office for review.
Twentieth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Luke Ferguson confirmed on Wednesday that his office has received a case file regarding the allegations against Flick but that as of press time Wednesday formal charges had not yet been filed.
"Our office has not filed any charges yet," Ferguson told the Log Cabin on Wednesday. "We have received a file from the sheriff's office, and we are reviewing it to see which charges are appropriate."
Flick is currently scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. April 23 in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a status hearing.
Rice said he wanted to remind residents that the investigation of Dodson's death has not ended with Flick's arrest, noting the sheriff's office encourages anyone with information regarding this incident to come forward.
"We're just asking anyone to call us," he said Wednesday. "Anyone that has information regarding this incident is asked to call the sheriff's office at 501-450-4917."
Tips can also be submitted anonymously online at www.fcso.ar.gov under the "Crime Tips" tab.