for immediate release
January 10, 2001

N E W S   R E L E A S E

Two murder suspects from Arkansas have been arrested in Okaloosa County. Amanda Lee Helton, age 18 (4-19-82), and Robert A. Hoover, age 24 (10-6-76), were located yesterday (Tuesday) at a residence in the Ocean City area where they had been staying with acquaintances since December 29. Both went voluntarily to the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office for interviews with investigators.

Both have confessed to the murder of 44 year old James Wesley Masters, who was found stabbed to death in his apartment in Monticello, Arkansas, on the morning of December 31. Investigators believe the two young suspects befriended Masters, then killed him in a robbery that netted approximately $200. Arkansas State Police developed Helton and Hoover as possible suspects, and contacted the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office for assistance when it was learned the two may have been in the company of friends in the Fort Walton Beach area.

Helton and Hoover are held without bond in the Okaloosa County Jail in Crestview as Fugitives From Justice. Both have signed Waivers of Extradition, and are expected to be transported back to Arkansas this week to face charges of Capital Murder. Warrants have been signed by a judge in that state, and prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.


for more information contact Rick Hord, Public Information Officer (850) 651-7420

-or- Corporal Kim Fontaine, Arkansas State Police (501) 618-8192