Formal charges were filed this week against two men linked to homicides in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County in June and July.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter charged Gary Foots, 58, with first-degree murder in the June 8 death of Maurice Turner and William Cody Childress, 21, with two counts of capital murder and other offenses in the July 12 deaths of Anthony Branch and Deborah Moncrief.
Foots is accused of stabbing Turner, 41, once in the chest after the two argued in the yard of 2709 W. Hill St. while grilling food. He remained at the scene and was taken into custody without incident.
Bond for Foots was set at $500,000.
Childress is accused of shooting Branch, 62, and Moncrief, 58, in the head inside Branch’s house in the 6300 block of Cowboy Drive.
During a court hearing for Childress on July 14, sheriff’s investigator Sgt. Mickey Buffkin said that Childress was the finance of Moncrief’s niece and there was a dispute about money that Moncrief had loaned to Childress, with Childress saying he had paid the money back and Moncrief saying he hadn’t.
Moncrief and other members of her family were involved in a dispute over property that Moncrief owned in Lincoln County where Childress, his fiancee and other family members lived, and Childress told investigators that Moncrief was threatening to make them move off the property. During a heated discussion, one of the family members made the comment to the effect that they just “wished something would happen to (Moncrief).”
Also during the interview with investigators, Childress admitted shooting Branch and Moncrief and led investigators them to a .38-caliber handgun that was found in the grass just off the on-ramp of Interstate 530 and Hazel Street.
Childress’ fiancee, Jessica Moncrief, was also interviewed and determined not to be involved in the deaths.
In addition to the murder charges, Hunter also charged Childress with theft of property and second-degree forgery.
During the court hearing for Childress, Hunter said when his office receives the full case file, they would notify the court “if we are going to seek the death penalty.”
Childress is being held without bond at the adult detention center.