Clay County Jury Convicts Man of First Degree Murder

CORNING, AR – Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces that a jury in Clay County found Bryan Curtis, 46, guilty of First Degree Murder today. The case concerned the June 12, 2016 shooting death of James Prater, 55. After only fifty-five (55) minutes of deliberation, the jury returned to the courtroom with a guilty verdict. Judge Randy Philhours followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Curtis to twenty-five (25) years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington and Deputy Prosecutor Mike Trail represented the State of Arkansas. Ellington said, “I appreciate the jury’s thoughtful consideration of the evidence and thank them for being willing to spend time away from their work and families to perform this vital civic duty.” He also praised the work of the Corning Police Department, Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller and his deputies, lead investigator Special Agent Creston Hutton and other members of the Arkansas State Police for their thorough investigations in this case.

Jury Convicted Mississippi County Man in Aggravated Robbery Case

BLYTHEVILLE, AR – Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces that last night a Mississippi County jury convicted Rodney Willis, Jr. of Blytheville, 21, on two counts of aggravated robbery in connection with the April 2016 robberies of Pizza Hut and Jordan’s QuikStop.


Willis was sentenced to ten (10) years on each count, to run concurrently. Under Arkansas law, Willis will not be eligible for parole until he has served a minimum of seventy percent (70%) of his sentence. The two juveniles involved in the robberies have been sentenced through the juvenile court system; the remaining co-defendant’s case is still pending. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Gina Knight thanked the jury for their attentiveness and hard work during the two long days of trial.


Scott Ellington said, “I would also like to thank the jury for giving their time and energy these past two days. I want to thank Ms. Knight and Eric Ferrell with the Blytheville Police Department. Their unwavering diligence and thorough investigation made this conviction possible.”


Mississippi County Jury convicts man who kidnapped disabled veteran, 30 years sentence handed down

Mississippi County Jury convicts man who kidnapped disabled veteran, 30 years sentence handed down

OSCEOLA, AR, December 10, 2016 – On Friday, December 8, 2016, an Osceola District, Mississippi County, jury convicted Terrell Harrell, age 25, of Luxora, Arkansas, for the March 2, 2015 Aggravated Robbery and Kidnapping of Robert Birmingham, age 68, also of Luxora, and a decorated disabled Vietnam veteran.

Ellington credited the great investigative work of Chief Albert Wright of the Luxora Police Department and Sergeant Brice Hicks of the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Department for their work as lead investigators. Ellington said Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Catherine P. Dean and Keith Chrestman represented the State.

“It is our job to protect the weak and disabled from those predators who prey on them. This case is more egregious because they knew Mr. Birmingham was a disabled veteran.”

The jury also convicted Harrell of Battery in the Second Degree, Theft of a Firearm and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card. Circuit Judge Dan Ritchey sentenced the Defendant to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Birmingham was asleep in his bed after having suffered a stroke and paralysis of his right arm and leg which had left him wheelchair-bound when Harrell and a co-defendant broke into his home after midnight, bound, gagged, blindfolded, and stabbed Birmingham while attempting to gain entry into a safe. Unable to open the safe, Harrell and his co-defendant dragged and stuffed Birmingham in the back seat of his own truck and held him captive at gunpoint while they drove from Luxora, through Marion and along Interstate 40 for hours. Law Enforcement agencies including the Luxora Police, Mississippi County Sheriff’s, and Little Rock Police Departments, along with the Arkansas State Police, working in concert ultimately located Birmingham in his vehicle, dressed only in his boxer shorts, in Little Rock where he was treated and released from the VA.


Crittenden County Man Receives Life Sentence for Aggravated Robbery


MARION, AR, June 8, 2016- Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas announced Thursday that a Crittenden County jury convicted Roosevelt Rashun Coleman of Aggravated Robbery and commission the crime with a firearm. The jury returned the verdict Wednesday evening after a three-day jury trail. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney J. Matthew Coe prosecuted the case for the State of Arkansas.

Circuit Judge Ralph Wilson sentenced Coleman to life in prison in the Arkansas Department of Corrections as a habitual violent offender, having been convicted of residential burglary on two previous occasions.

Ellington said, “Because of the hard work of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney J. Matthew Coe, as well as Detective Freddy Williams and law enforcement with the Marion Police Department, Crittenden County will not have to worry about this violent individual walking the streets of their community.”

Coe said, “I am appreciative of the hard work of Detective Freddy Williams and the Marion Police Department, as well as the help and assistance that they received from the citizens of Crittenden County in bringing Coleman to justice. I applaud the jury’s difficult task in this case as well. Due to everyone’s efforts, this violent criminal has been removed from our community.”

According to the evidence introduced at trial, Coleman entered the Dollar General on the I-55 Service Road in Marion, Arkansas, on September 14, 2015 around 8:30 pm. He held the assistant manager at gun point and pushed her to the store’s cash registers and demanded money. While the assistant manager complied with his demand, he struck her on the head with the butt end of the gun, resulting in a significant injury to the assistant manager which necessitated treatment at a local hospital. After taking cash from the registers, Coleman fled the store on foot.


Ellington: West Memphis man sentenced to 110 years in prison

May 13, 2016

Media Contact:
Zach Morrison
870-351-2729 – Cell

Charged as habitual felony offender

MARION, ARK. – Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces that a West Memphis man was sentenced to 110 years in prison following a two-day jury trial.

Crittenden County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Young tried Lawrence Handy, 37, of West Memphis on a single count of residential burglary Wednesday and Thursday at the Crittenden County Courthouse in Marion. Jurors found Handy guilty Thursday afternoon.

Circuit Judge Randy Philhours of Paragould followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Handy to 60 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, the maximum sentence available for residential burglary under the Arkansas habitual offender law. Philhours added an additional 50 years after granting the State’s three petitions to revoke Handy’s prior suspended sentences and/or probation.

Ellington expressed his gratitude for Young’s outstanding trial work, as well as the investigative work West Memphis Police Det. Steven Fleming.
“This was one of those cases where we said, ‘This guy has had enough bites at the apple,’” said Ellington. “We are grateful that the jury took this guy off the streets and placed him behind bars where he belongs.”


Handy was remanded to the custody of Crittenden County Sheriff Mike Allen to await transport to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.