A Little Rock man accused of raping a Conway teen pleaded not guilty Monday to the allegations against him.
Durrell Lamoine Barnum, 30, appeared in shackles and a striped jumpsuit Monday morning in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a plea and arraignment hearing regarding the case filed against him.
"We'll waive the reading of felony information and plea not guilty," Karen Walker-Knight said on Barnum's behalf as she stood in as an attorney for arraignment purposes.
Attorney Will Shelton was ultimately appointed by the Public Defender Commission to represent Barnum throughout the criminal proceedings against him.
Online records show an investigation into the allegations against Barnum launched in mid-March after authorities were called out to a possible terroristic threatening incident along East German Lane.
The Conway Police Department was called out to the Ozark Mountain Trading Company regarding a man and woman who were in a heated argument, according to a probable cause affidavit. As officers were headed to the scene, the “aggressor,” later identified as Barnum, left the scene on foot with his juvenile daughter. Authorities caught up to Barnum at the corner of East German Lane and Wiggle Worm Road and immediately began investigating.
While speaking with both parties initially involved in what police believed was a potential terroristic threatening incident, the officers learned Barnum was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.
The woman also involved in the argument outside the Ozark Mountain Trading Company told police on March 18 that she’d learned Barnum allegedly raped her younger sister earlier that day. Barnum was staying at the woman’s residence because he was dating a cousin of hers that also lived at her apartment on Middle Road.
In her statement, she told authorities that as soon as she learned of the accusations against Barnum, she woke him up and kicked him out of her house.
Police later questioned the 14-year-old girl about the allegations against Barnum.
As she spoke with police, she said Barnum waited for other family to fall asleep before he walked back out of his room and took advantage of her. She said she wasn’t sure of what she should do, so she grabbed her sister’s phone following the alleged incident, and called her mentor from school. When talking to her mentor, the 14-year-old reportedly complained of having stomach pains and wanted advice on how to subside the pain, according to court documents.
The girl’s mentor said the 14-year-old never told her why she was having stomach pains, according to the affidavit. However, the alleged victim’s sister also noted the 14-year-old was suffering from stomach pains on the morning in question. After noticing her younger sister was in pain, the woman began questioning the teen, which is when she learned of the alleged rape.
Barnum’s girlfriend said at first she did not know whether she believed the 14-year-old’s claims, according to an investigative report. However, she later provided family members with “a recorded video of a confession.”
When she initially was interviewed by police, the suspect’s girlfriend said she didn’t know if it was possible for the crime to have occurred with so many others present at the house, noting there were 14 people staying at the three-bedroom apartment on the night in question. Several family members had visited the previous day, and left about two hours prior to the incident, which the victim said occurred around 2 a.m. March 18.
On April 9, the suspect’s girlfriend provided other family members with a 30-second video where Barnum reportedly admits guilty to the accusations against him.
“Mr. Barnum tells [his ex-girlfriend] in the video that he is sorry and describes an incident where he mentored the victim after she was disciplined at school one day,” the affidavit reads in part. “He tells [his ex-girlfriend] that [the victim] was ‘rubbing’ up on him that day, and all though he doesn’t say they had sex, he does say that he ‘knew better’ ... and that it was consensual.”
A rape kit was performed at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital on the day of the alleged incident. The 14-year-old’s clothes were also taken in order to gather evidence.
According to the hospital’s staff, the victim showed to have “signs of interior vaginal busing during their exam” on March 18.
Barnum, who is currently being held in the county jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond, is scheduled to appear next at 9 a.m. Nov. 15 in circuit court for a pretrial hearing regarding the aforementioned case.