Two men accused in the shooting death of Taurus Goins on Friday made their first appearance in court Monday.
Jason Miller, 30, and Shamar Womack, 34, are both being held on probable cause of first-degree murder in the death of Goins, 36, who was found at about 1:36 a.m. in the passenger seat of a vehicle parked in the area of West Saracen and North Willow streets on the city’s north side.
Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley pronounced Goins dead at the scene of a gunshot wound to the head.
Testifying during the probable cause hearing Monday, Detective Steve Rucker said when officers were investigating the scene, they received information that the driver of the car, later identified as Miller, was in a nearby cemetery and found Miller waving a cell phone. He was taken into custody and a few minutes later, Womack came out of the woods and was also taken into custody.
Initially, Womack was held on probable cause of possession of a controlled substance, but on Saturday police spokesman Lt. David Price said Womack was also determined to be a suspect and the charge against him was added.
In his testimony, Rucker said police located a weapon in the area where Womack had been.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Miller allegedly told police he had been driving the car with Goins in the passenger seat and Womack in the back and when he stopped at the intersection, he heard a gunshot, and he got out and ran from the vehicle.
When Womack was interviewed, he allegedly told police Goins pulled a gun on him and the two struggled over the gun until it went off and Goins dropped it. Womack told police he picked up the gun and ran.
Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said Womack is currently on parole while Miller had no prior convictions or pending charges.
After Rucker’s testimony, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth ruled prosecutors had probable cause to charge Miller and Womack with first-degree murder.
Bond for Miller was set at $500,000 secured, while bond for Womack was set at $500,000 cash-only.
Womack is also listed as a parole absconder by the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections and will be held without bond until a hearing to determine if he should be sent back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence for aggravated robbery.
The slaying was the second of the year in Pine Bluff.