By Ray King

An inmate at the Arkansas Department of Corrections’ Varner Unit on Wednesday failed to convince the Arkansas Court of Appeals that he was wrongly convicted.

Corey Steward, 40, was convicted in 2021 of aggravated assault on a correctional officer or employee and was sentenced as an habitual offender to 15 years in prison. He appealed that conviction the following year, which was denied, then alleged ineffective assistance of counsel which Circuit Judge Jodi Raines Dennis denied because his petition did not conform to state requirements designed to prevent perjury.

Steward appealed Dennis’s ruling but did not challenge the dismissal of his petition regarding ineffective assistance of counsel and the court of appeals said that because he did not do that, neither Dennis or the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to hear the petition.

Steward is serving his sentence at the Varner Unit and will be eligible to apply for parole on June 22, 2026.