A judge has granted the release of a man accused in a 2002 double slaying in Conway until his January trial.
Prosecutors charged 62-year-old Richard Conte with two counts of capital murder for the deaths of 49-year-old Carter Elliott and 25-year-old Timothy Wayne Robertson. Conte convinced a judge Friday to allow him to live with his mother in Wisconsin until his Jan. 8 trial.
Conte argued he should be released because the speedy trial law requires a defendant to be freed if he’s not tried within nine months of being charged.
Conte was charged in 2011, days before he was released from a Nevada jail sentence for kidnapping his ex-wife.
Prosecutors say Conte will wear an electronic monitor and will be under house arrest.
Conte served nine years of a 15-year sentence at a correctional facility in Nevada for kidnapping Lark Gathright-Elliott about a month after the murders.
According to investigators, Conte drove to Salt Lake City, drugged her and placed her and her clothing in the back of his truck. He took her to his Clear Creek home in Douglas County, Nev., where she was found and freed two days after being kidnapped.
He was also the Conway Police Department’s prime suspect in the murders of Elliott and Robertson. Elliott owned industrial solvent manufacturer Detco and was a mentor to Robertson. The pair were working together to build a deck for Elliott’s home in the Shady Valley subdivision in west Conway when they were killed on May 18, 2002.
In 2002, investigators stated that Conte was not arrested at the time of the murders because evidence against him was circumstantial.
Among evidence that was found to link Conte to the murders was copies of downloaded Conway maps and the scanner frequencies for local police agencies, found on his computer.