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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Family experiences death of two family members less than a year apart

Joshua Flanagan

The death last week of 37-year-old Joshua Flanagan, who was killed by 27-year-old Kelsey Dampier over the alleged theft of a cell phone, is ironic because Joshua is the second member of the Flanagan family to be the victim of a violent death in a year.

Joshua Flanagan was killed last Thursday when Dampier tracked him down at a Fort Smith residence by "pinging" her stolen phone, confronting, and eventually shooting, Flanagan.

On January 9, 2020, Richard Todd Flanagan, the cousin of Joshua, was killed in a confrontation at a premises known for drug activity on Bluff Avenue. No charges have been filed in the death of Richard Todd Flanagan, although the man residing at the house was arrested on drug charges after the incident.

"I know the family went through a lot with the death of Todd," said Ashley Gentry, the mother of one of Joshua Flangan's three daughters. "I have no idea how this (Joshua's death) happened... I don't know how he knew her."

"He possibly didn't know her at supposedly was over a cell phone, and you know how people sell phones all the time," said "I could see him buying a phone from someone and it turned out to be hers."

Kesey Dampier

Police say Dampier followed Flanagan, the father of three daughters, from one fort Smith residence to another and later told investigators she "pinged" her stolen phone as being in the possession of Flanagan.

She had made a comment at the first residence that she would "kill someone" for stealing her phone.

After the shooting, Flanagan was taken to a local hospital where he died.

Dampier remains in the Sebastian County Detention Center facing First Degree Murder and various other charges.

Gentry said she was with Josh Flanagan in 2017 and that relationship resulted in the birth of a daughter, who is now 2 and-a-half years old.

Today in Fort Smith uncovered some information on the criminal background of Josh Flanagan, but Gentry said he didn't deserve to die over someone's obsession with a cell phone.

"Josh had done some time in prison, so he had a past, but he was also a wonderful, loving, and caring man and was such a jokester," said Gentry, who now lives in Georgia. "I really think he had been trying to get his life together."

The "warts" by Josh Flanagan included a felony arrest at a young age for Residential Burglary, a Breaking and Entering in June 2008 which lead to a Revocation, and Felony Theft by Receiving charges later that same year.

He also was recently arrested for Possession of a controlled Substance and a Dardanelle woman filed an order of protection against him in 2019.

Prior to his relationship with Gentry, Flanagan had several arrests in Pontotoc County, Oklahoma and he served time in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Richard Todd Flanagan

The death of Richard Todd Flanagan back on January 9, 2020 resulted when Flanagan "busted through the door" of a Fort Smith home on Bluff Avenue wearing a ski mask, shooting, and asking for money. He was stabbed multiple times by a person inside and later died at a local hospital.

Zachary Still, who did not do the stabbing, was interviewed by detectives. He consented to a search of the home.

During the search, numerous items such as drug paraphernalia and jars of marijuana were found. Detectives were provided with a key to a safe, which contained marijuana, wax and an unknown amount of money.

Several people at the residence told police that Still sold weed out of the home.

Zachary Still

Still was arrested on drug charges, including Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, Maintaining a Premises for Drug Activity and Possession of Marijuana with the Purpose to Deliver (over 14 grams). Still bonded out of the SCDC on March 5, 2020 on a $15,000 legally sufficient bond. No one has been charged in the murder of Richard Todd Flanagan to date.

There were at least two other men in the hose at the time of the incident and neither were charged with any crime in connection with the case.

Richard Flanagan also had a checkered past with a criminal rap sheet dating from 2001-2015. His charges included Burglary, Theft of Property, Forgery, Possession of Firearm by Certain Persons and various drug arrest.

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