A former high school football standout who helped the Pine Bluff Zebras to two consecutive state championships was sentenced to prison late Wednesday in connection with three separate robberies and injuries to three different individuals.
David Beasley, now 20, pleaded no contest to a total of five counts of robbery (one of them involving three victims), which were reduced from aggravated robbery, two counts of first-degree battery and one count of second-degree battery — all related to incidents that occurred in April 2016 when Beasley was a senior in high school.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said Circuit Judge Jodi Raines Dennis sentenced Beasley to a total of 20 years on each of the robbery allegations, 10 years on the first-degree battery allegations and six years on the second-degree battery allegation, with the sentences in each case to run consecutively with each other and concurrently with each case for a total 30-year sentence.
Deputy Prosecutors Carol Billings and Cymber Tadlock represented the state during the hearing Wednesday, and Beasley was represented by Little Rock Attorney Ron Davis.
“Our community, like many others across the state and nation, are struggling with violent gun crimes, and these three cases are examples of gun violence that injures people,” Hunter said. “Our office is committed to holding those individuals who commit those types of crimes accountable and seeking significant prison sentences for them.”
Beasley, who was a finalist for the Landers Award, widely considered to be the highest Arkansas high school football individual honor, had signed to play football at Louisiana Tech University before he was arrested in April 2016 after he and three others were accused of robbing an individual behind University Drive and Collegiate Drive, then shooting the individual when he ran.
A University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff police officer stopped a vehicle driven by Beasley and containing three other men, and the shooting victim identified Beasley as the person who shot him after being shown a photo line up.
A few days after that robbery, Beasley, who was out on bond, was accused of robbing three individuals on Saracen Street. In that robbery, one of the victims was hit in the head and ear several times. Cell phones, debit cards, a purse and handgun were taken.
Beasley played wide receiver, on defense and special teams at Pine Bluff High School when the team won state championships in 2014 and 2015. He caught 30 passes, 16 for touchdowns on offense and one defense, had 25 tackles, 18 pass breakups, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on defense. He also returned two punts for touchdowns while playing on special teams.
Hunter said Beasley will have to do half of his sentence, or 15 years, before being eligible to apply for parole. However, he can reduce that to one quarter of seven and-a-half years if he receives the maximum amount of good behavior time available.
As a condition of the plea agreement, Beasley was ordered to have no contact with any of the victims. He will receive jail time credit to be determined.