Formal charges have been filed against a man who allegedly shot another man to death in February, and prosecutors reduced charges against a second man who had been arrested after an incident last October that led to another man’s death.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter charged Shamar Womack, 34, with first-degree murder in the Feb. 21 death of Taurus Goins, 36, whose body was found inside a vehicle parked at the intersection of West Saracen and North Willow streets. Goins was pronounced dead at the scene by Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley.
During a probable cause hearing on Feb. 25, Detective Steven Rucker of the Pine Bluff Police Department said that when officers arrived at the scene, they received information that the driver of the car, later identified as Jason Miller, 30, was in a nearby cemetery and they found Miller holding a cell phone.
Womack came out of the woods a short time later and he was also arrested.
According to the probable-cause affidavit, Miller told police he had been driving the car, with Goins in the passenger seat and Womack in the back, and when they reached the intersection, he heard a gunshot and got out and ran.
When Womack was interviewed, he told police Goins pulled a gun on him and two struggled over the gun until it went off and Goins dropped it. Womack said he picked up the gun and ran.
In addition to the murder charge, Goins was charged with one count of possession of a Schedule I/II controlled substance with purpose to deliver, one count of possession of a Schedule IV/V controlled substance with purpose to deliver and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm because of a prior conviction for aggravated robbery.
His bond was set at $500,000 cash-only, and Womack said he would hire his own attorney.
In the other case, prosecutors filed charges of second-degree battery against Kenneth Burton, 21, who allegedly admitted hitting Antonio Jenkins, 23, in the head during an altercation at 212 W. Fourth Ave., on Nov. 10. Jenkins later died.
Burton originally was held on probable cause of second-degree murder but Hunter said that after reviewing the entire case, file his office determined that second-degree battery was the appropriate charge in the case.
The Arkansas State Crime Laboratory determined that Jenkins’ death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head.
After the altercation with Burton, Jenkins was taken home and was found unresponsive on a couch. Kelley pronounced him dead.
Burton had previously been convicted of misdemeanor negligent homicide in the April 19, 2011, shooting death of Kadedra Washington, 16, who was a student at Pine Bluff High School.
Prosecutors filed felony manslaughter charges against Burton but a jury convicted him of the lesser charge. He was sentenced to six months in the county jail and served that sentence.
A $100,000 bond, which was set at the probable cause hearing, remains in effect and Burton has been ordered to have no contact with any of Jenkins’ family members.