John Wesley Hall

Violent crimes: Man in Arkansas faces murder charges

An 18-year-old Springdale resident is facing serious charges following a shooting back on Dec. 6. Arkansas authorities extradited the man back from a neighboring state after he allegedly fled police seeking him in connection with the alleged murder. As with most violent crimes, if convicted the man could face serious jail time. 

According to police, a 19-year-old man was found dead around 3 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 6 in a crashed vehicle in northeast Springdale. Coroner's reports identified the cause of death as a gunshot wound. For reasons that were not articulated in this report, the 18-year-old man was suspected of shooting him. The man left Arkansas shortly thereafter, but was arrested on the West Coast on Dec. 9 and extradited on Dec. 26. He was arraigned on Jan. 9 and bail was set at $500,000. 

The man faces charges of first degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault and one further charge of committing a terroristic act. He has pleaded innocent to all of these, but if he is convicted on the murder charges, he could face 10 to 40 years in prison. A second man, also 18, was charged with helping him to elude police. This man has also been taken into custody. 

First-degree murder is one of the most serious violent crimes that can be committed, because it involves a premeditated act. Therefore, Arkansas authorities will have to prove the man not only fired the fatal shot, but that he had planned to do so in advance. The man's criminal defense attorney will carefully review any evidence the prosecution brings forth to support this claim, in an effort to build a strong and compelling case in his defense. 

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