Case File Reveals More on Acquaintances Brett Cummins, Dexter Williams

The case file on the hot tub death of Dexter Williams describes a drug-fueled holiday weekend among casual acquaintances that ended in accidental tragedy.

The file is now open to public inspection since Pulaski County Prosecutor Larry Jegley announced Friday that no criminal charges would be filed in the Labor Day death of the 24-year-old Mountain Pine resident and closed the case.

Before Friday, only vague details had been released about the events leading to Williams' death. Those details included that Brett Cummins, then a KARK-TV, Channel 4, meteorologist, woke Labor Day nestled in a hot tub with Williams' stiff corpse.

The Maumelle Police Department pieced together more of the fragmented story through the text messages from Williams' phone, Williams' autopsy and interviews with Cummins and others.  

State medical examiner Frank J. Peretti reported that Williams' manner of death was "Undetermined," although the cause was asphyxiation, or suffocation.

According to the report, "This asphyxia could be the result of positional asphyxia, mechanical asphyxia, or a combination of both. Due to the unclear circumstances, it cannot be ruled out that immersion played a role in the death." Peretti listed "Acute Combined Methamphetamine and Amphetamine Intoxication" as a contributing cause of the death. A urine test showed that marijuana was also in Williams' body.

The police concluded, in a report, "Peretti ruled the Manner of Death was undetermined, but stated that it was not a homicide."

The hot tub was in the home of Christopher Barbour, 36, who told police he had met Williams through "a website for gay men."

According to a Maumelle Police Department case summary, "Barbour stated that he had been drinking all weekend and had invited Williams over, because Williams was going to bring drugs and cigarettes."

Police reported Cummins, 34, said, and text messages revealed, that he and Williams had spent time together daily from Sept. 3 through the date when Williams' body was found - Sept. 5.

In the case summary, police said, "Cummins stated he had been Facebook friends with Williams for years and that they had been together at local gay bars a few time [sic], but they had never been intimate." The reporting officer noted that Cummins changed his story, because Cummins said previously that Sept. 4 was the first time the two met.

A police officer asked Cummins what Williams' parents should be told.

"I think you should tell them how sorry that ... we are to wake up to seeing their child in that condition ... I personally didn't realize that what he was doing was too much because...I didn't know how much he done," Cummins said, according to an interview transcript.

"I saw him do some stuff but I couldn't count how many...pills he actually did or ... lines or whatever. [I]t's just a very sad situation and it's... heart breaking and I know they're hurting and I'm hurting in a very different way but we're all hurting."