HARRISBURG – A Poinsett County man pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a man at a Trumann Wal-Mart and the kidnapping of his estranged wife, announced Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington.
Gabriel Urrabazo, 23, of Trumann entered the guilty plea a week before he was to be tried in Poinsett County Circuit Court. Circuit Judge Barbara Halsey sentenced Urrabazo to 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction for first-degree murder and 10 years suspended imposition of sentence. She also sentenced him to 20 years for the kidnapping of his ex-wife, Faith Morgan. The terms will run concurrently, Ellington said.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Young represented the state in the case.
Young said Urrabazo went to the Trumann Wal-Mart Supercenter on April 23, 2018, and held Morgan at gunpoint. Robert Highfill, 36, who knew Morgan, tried to disarm Urrabazo while police began negotiating with Urrabazo, but was fatally shot. Urrabazo then held police at bay in a standoff before releasing Morgan and surrendering. Highfill was married and had three young children.
“This is the right thing to do,” Young said of the plea. “It was better than putting the victim’s family and his pre-teen daughter, who witnessed her father being killed, through the stress of going to trial.”
Ellington thanked Young and Trumann police for their work in the case.
“I appreciate the hard work Tom Young did in putting this case together and getting ready for the trial that we would have started next Monday,” he said. “I also appreciate the hard work by the Trumann Police Department in their role in investigating this case.”