By Joe May
Special to The Arkadelphian
A Clark County jury on Wednesday found a former professor innocent on charges that he and another faculty member allegedly manufactured methamphetamine in Henderson State University’s science building in 2019.
Terry David Bateman, 47, of Arkadelphia, was a chemistry professor at HSU when he and fellow professor Bradley Rowland, 42, were arrested in November 2019 following a chemical spill in the Reynolds Science Center that forced its evacuation and led to it having to be professionally contaminated.
Bateman and Rowland were charged with manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and manufacture of a controlled substance. Rowland was also charged with possession of pseudoephedrine with purpose to manufacture meth. In addition, the suspects faced enhanced penalties because the crimes were alleged to have taken place on a school campus.
The trial took place in the Clark County Circuit Courtroom before Judge Blake Batson on Tuesday and Wednesday. The jury was given the case Wednesday afternoon and deliberated for about an hour before returning a verdict of not guilty.
Following the verdict, Prosecuting Attorney Dan Turner said, “I’m disappointed in the verdict. I appreciate all the efforts of law enforcement and the Arkansas State Crime Lab and wish Henderson State University success in the future.”
He declined further comment on the case.
Court records still show Rowland as being set for trial in November.