The lead detective in the Tuesday shooting death of Jamonte Smith said Thursday that the suspect in the case, Lecole Wilson, lied about what happened.
Testifying at a probable cause hearing in Jefferson County District Court, Detective Deshawn Bennett said Wilson, 20, told investigators she and Smith were standing in the street outside 2809 W. 40th Ave. when Smith was shot by a stray bullet.
Deputy Prosecutor Bryan Achorn asked Bennett if officers had checked surrounding houses for surveillance cameras, and Bennett said they had; the video from the camera did not show Wilson or Smith outside.
“And it was determined that Lecole Wilson was at that time lying about where she was, is that correct?” Achorn asked Bennett.
“That's correct,” Bennett said.
Smith, 20, was found lying in the floor of the house with a gunshot wound to the chest and was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center by ambulance where he was pronounced dead.
Bennett said that after Wilson gave her initial statement, she gave a second statement saying had been in the house and that Smith had been outside. She said he came running to the house after being shot.
Asked by Achorn if the surveillance video backed up that story, Bennett said no.
In a third statement, Wilson admitted shooting Smith in the chest, Bennett said.
Wilson's mother, who owns the house, and her grandmother both arrived and gave officers permission to search the house, but Achorn said Wilson refused to allow her bedroom to be searched so officers obtained a search warrant.
Bennett said during that search, officers found a .22-caliber handgun under the mattress and a shell casing was found that had been hidden in Wilson's underwear.
Achorn asked Bennett if it appeared that Wilson was attempting to hide evidence and Bennett replied: “yes sir.”
After hearing the testimony, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth ruled prosecutors have probable cause to charge Wilson with first-degree murder or, as Achorn explained, “With the purpose of causing the death of Jamonte Smith, she caused the death of Jamonte Smith.”
Bond for Wilson, who said she would hire her own attorney, was set at $250,000.
The death of Smith was the fourth in Pine Bluff in a three day period and the 16th of the year. Through the first eight months of 2017, a total of 19 homicides had been reported.