Prosecutor Ellington files formal murder, battery charges in Main Street shooting spree

JONESBORO, ARK – Scott Ellington, District Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, announces the filing of formal charges against a duo arrested in the May 14 mass shooting spree at The Basement in downtown Jonesboro that left one person dead and six more injured.

Ellington filed an Information Wednesday in Craighead County Circuit Court charging Kalius J. “KK” Lane, 20, and Chauncey Thomas, 19, both of Jonesboro, each with one (1) count of First Degree Murder and six (6) counts of First Degree Battery.

Ellington said both face up to life in prison if convicted of the charges.

All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

History of the Case:

In the early morning hours of Sunday, May 14, Jonesboro police officers were dispatched to The Basement, 311 S. Main St., Jonesboro, in regard to a shooting that had occurred at a large party being held at the event venue.

One victim, Montario Barnes, was pronounced dead at the scene. Six additional victims were taken to area hospitals and treated for gunshot injuries. Witnesses identified both defendants as the suspects and Jonesboro Police Department detectives obtained warrants for their arrests. Thomas himself surrendered to authorities the same day, while Lane fled to Texas, where United States marshals apprehended him.

Pictured: Chauncey ThomasPictured: Kalius Lane

Mississippi County Man Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

BLYTHEVILLE, AR – District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced that a Mississippi County jury found Kordarro Woodard, 25, guilty of first degree murder today in the death of Martha George, 37, both of Blytheville.

The state alleged Woodard went to George’s home after midnight on June 19, 2016 where he argued and fought with her, poured gas on her, then caused her to catch fire with his lighter. Woodard claimed George set herself on fire in an attempted suicide because he was talking to other women.

Judge Cindy Thyer followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Woodard to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

Ellington praised the work of Detectives Ronnie McShan and Eric Farrell of the Blytheville Police Department and Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Curtis Walker and Gina Knight for their hard work investigating and prosecuting this difficult case.

Woodard was represented by Attorney James W. Harris of Blytheville.

 

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.”

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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.

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