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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Guilty plea by Varner SuperMax inmate earns him additional 40 years on top of current life sentence

After nearly 33 years, Rick Allen Headley, 48, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Fulton County Circuit Courtthis week , in the 1991 death of Sabrina Underwood. He was sentenced to 40 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. 

“We will never give up on finding justice for families like the Underwood’s, who still suffer the pain of Sabrina’s absence,” said ASP Colonel Mike Hagar. “Today, we pray for peace for those who remember and love Sabrina.”

Headley was charged in October after his confession to the killing led Arkansas State Police (ASP) investigators to interview him. At the time of his confession, Headley was already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to capital murder for the March 2018 stabbing death of his estranged wife Kirstie Headley in Mountain Home.

In January 1991, Ms. Underwood’s mother told police that she dropped her daughter off near Bear Creek in Boone County. Ms. Underwood planned to hitchhike to the North Central Unit prison in Calico Rock, where she planned to visit an inmate.

She was reported missing to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office.

In April 1991, a hunter reported finding items belonging to Ms. Underwood near the Gum Springs Cemetery in Fulton County.

Fulton County deputies asked for assistance from ASP after finding human remains nearby. The Arkansas Medical Examiner identified the victim as Ms. Underwood.

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