Convicted felon arrested after gun found


A Pine Bluff man who had been brought to the police detective division for questioning on a non-related incident was arrested after a handgun and body armor were found in the house where he was staying.

William James, 40, was picked up at a house in the 1200 block of South Larch Street at about 5:20 p.m. Thursday and taken to the detective office. While he was there, other detectives obtained information that James might have a gun.

Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said during a court hearing Friday for James that he had previously been convicted of aggravated robbery, theft of property, theft by receiving and escape, and had charges of first-degree domestic battery and being a felon in possession of a firearm pending.

The detectives who were at the house on Larch Street obtained consent to search from the homeowner and the homeowner pointed to bags in a child’s room and said the bags belonged to James, Detective Larry Gailey said in a probable cause affidavit.

Pugh said officers saw what appeared to be the handle of a handgun in one of the bags, then got a search warrant and found a .38-caliber pistol and a set of body armor. James allegedly said the items were his.

Because of the prior convictions and pending charges, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $10,000 cash-only bond for James after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge him with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The public defender’s office was appointed to represent James.