PB man faces murder charge in death of alleged robbery partner

A Pine Bluff man faces a capital murder charge and another remains in the hospital after an alleged robbery Monday in Hensley that left the third suspect dead when they wrecked a getaway vehicle.

Elijah Cooley, 30, of Pine Bluff faces charges of capital murder in the death of Cloie Joles, 36, of Pine Bluff and aggravated robbery after a Pulaski County judge ruled Thursday that prosecutors have probable cause to pursue those charges, according to court documents. Cooley is being held in the Pulaski County jail with no bond, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Carl Minden said in an email news release.

Reddie Robert Stanley, 24, of Pine Bluff remains in the hospital, Minden said. He was pinned in the vehicle after the accident and sustained several broken bones, according to a police affidavit.

Joles died en route to the hospital Monday after police allege the three robbed a 77-year-old man at his home in Hensley. The wreck occurred at 4700 West Hensley Road, less than a mile away from the robbery site.

Deputies were dispatched to the robbery location at about 10:10 p.m. Monday, according to a sheriff’s office report. The alleged victim told deputies that a female knocked on his front door and told him her vehicle had broken down nearby. When he opened to door, two men forced their way in and knocked him to the ground. He struggled, and one of the men sprayed him in the eyes with something that burned and he believed it was pepper spray.

The group took his cell phone, $400 in cash and his driver’s license. They left, and he followed them outside, where he saw them leave in a dark-colored pickup truck.

Meanwhile, deputies also had been dispatched to the crash site. The victim’s wallet, driver’s license and loose cash were found inside, and he identified the vehicle as matching the one he had seen the suspects drive away in.

The Hensley Fire Department used hydraulic equipment and other techniques to get Joles and Stanley out of the vehicle. Joles was unconscious in the passenger seat and Stanley was hanging out of the driver’s side window with his legs pinned inside.

A witness reported to deputies that he saw a third person — later identified by deputies as Cooley — flee from the scene of the accident. Deputies found Cooley after he was admitted to a Little Rock hospital and interviewed him there. According to the affidavit, Cooley told deputies that he was at the scene of the robbery and that he, Stanley and Joles fled in the vehicle. He said that Stanley was driving and both he and Joles asked him several times to slow down.

After the accident, Cooley told deputies that he fled to a nearby house and called a family member, who Cooley told he had been in an ATV accident.