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‘You wanted it like this’: Arkansas husband could face death penalty after doctor wife who called 911 found in street with knife in her neck

Marcus Joiner, Dr. Amy Joiner

Marcus Joiner (Washington County Jail), Dr. Amy Joiner (Northwest Arkansas Pathology Associates)

A 40-year-old husband faces capital murder charges in Arkansas after his wife, a doctor who had called 911 back in mid-April, was found in the street in front of her house with a knife in her neck.

Marcus McBurney Joiner was allegedly heard saying “You wanted it like this” in the background after Dr. Amy Joiner, 39, called 911 on April 16, a Sunday night, to report that her husband was drinking and acting aggressively. At one point during that call, the dispatcher heard screams and then silence. Police with the Fayetteville Police Department were sent to the scene.

Once there, authorities’ worst fears were realized. Dr. Joiner was deceased in the street on Thornhill Drive, where she lived, and a knife was sticking out of her neck. Authorities now believe that the doctor was still on the phone with 911 when she was killed.

The defendant was spotted at the scene by a neighbor who witnessed him attacking Dr. Joiner, authorities said. The suspect was described in reports as kneeling over and stabbing or punching a woman in the roadway. Marcus Joiner allegedly walked back into the residence before surrendering to responding police.

Cops said that the shirtless suspect was treated for a chest wound and cuts on his hands. He was booked four days later into jail in Washington County.

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A University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences alum, Dr. Joiner worked for years at Northwest Arkansas Pathology Associates and became a partner there.

“All of us here at Northwest Arkansas Pathology Associates are shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Dr. Amy Joiner. She was a valued member of our team here at Northwest Arkansas Pathology Associates since 2016,” said a message from Dr. Amy’s colleagues, sharing a photo of her at her desk. “She was a joy to work with and was loved by everyone here not just for her dedication to her profession, but also for the caring manner in which she lived her life and for the kindness she showed all those who had the opportunity to interact with her. This is a difficult time for us and for the Northwest Arkansas medical community. We ask that you please keep Dr. Amy Joiner’s family, friends, and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers as we all grieve her loss.”

Jail records reviewed by Law&Crime show that Marcus Joiner was initially booked on April 20 in the case. The defendant, listed at 6’4″ and 223 pounds, is currently scheduled to appear in court next on May 22 for an arraignment in the capital murder case, Washington County Circuit Court records say.

Court records indicate that the capital murder case and a felony information was docketed on May 16, Tuesday.

“[O]n or about April 16, 2023, in Washington County, Arkansas, the said defendant, with the premeditated and deliberated purpose of causing the death of another person, caused the death of any person, in violation of A.C.A.§5-10-101(a)(4),to-wit: the defendant stabbed his wife multiple times, causing her death, against the peace and dignity of the State of Arkansas,” prosecutors say.

Capital murder is punishable by the death penalty or life without parole upon conviction.

As of Thursday, Joiner remains behind bars on a $750,000 bond. The court docket did not show an attorney of record.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.