One of two men arrested in connection with the shooting death of Brandon McHan during the course of an attempted robbery on Nov. 12 allegedly admitted his involvement when questioned by police and federal agents.
Daryl Anthony Dwayne Strickland Jr. allegedly admitted to shooting inside the Wise Buck Guns and Pawn Shop at 2408 S. Camden Road, where McHan, 34, who owned the business, and Jason Booth, who worked there, were both shot. McHan was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he died. Booth was treated at JRMC, then transferred to a Little Rock hospital for additional treatment.
Strickland and Rodney Tyrone Henry, both 21 and of Camden, were arrested in the early morning hours Tuesday and brought back to Pine Bluff. Strickland was questioned by Pine Bluff Police Detective Tamina Smith and by Special Agents John Norris and Jim O’Connor of the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau, who joined the case because McHan was a licensed federal firearms dealer.
According to a probable cause affidavit presented in Jefferson County District Court Wednesday, Strickland also admitted his involvement in the robbery of the Alon Gas Station at 28th Avenue and Olive Street, which occurred about an hour after officers responded to the pawn shop.
Strickland told the investigators that their intention was only to rob each location to obtain cash. A black handgun and cash were taken at the gas station.
Reading from the affidavit, Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said the initial officer who arrived at the pawn shop reported that shots were still being fired. As the officer parked their patrol vehicle on the south side of the business, they reported seeing two subjects running through a field on the south side of the business.
The affidavit, prepared by Smith and Detective Kaylon McDaniel, said that when officers went to the Alon gas station, the clerk told them that two black males had entered the store with guns. One of them approached the front counter and the other went behind the counter. One of the subjects put a gun to the clerk’s head before taking an unknown amount of money. Both then fled the store.
After obtaining video from both the gas station and pawn shop, police determined that the same two suspects, who were unknown at that time, were involved in both incidents. That video was enhanced and released to the media and to social media, and an anonymous tip led police to Strickland and Henry.
While following up at a residence in Pine Bluff where Strickland and Henry were staying on Nov.28, an expended shell casing was found after the resident gave officers permission to search. Strickland and Henry were released at that time pending further investigation, and the shell casing was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
Hunter said that on Dec, 3, the crime lab sent a preliminary report that the shell casing matched one found at the pawn shop. Offices and ATF agents then went to Camden, where Strickland and Henry were taken into custody at two separate residences.
Henry was questioned by McDaniel, Norris and O’Connor, and after signing a form indicating that he understood his rights, denied having any involvement in either incident.
Hunter told Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth that neither Strickland nor Henry have prior felony convictions, but both have felony charges pending in Ouachita County.
After Hunter presented the information, Bridgforth ruled that prosecutors have probable cause to charge Strickland and Henry with capital murder in the death of McHan, attempted capital murder for the wounds received by Booth, and aggravated robbery.
If convicted of capital murder, Strickland and Henry would be sentenced to death by lethal injection or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Arkansas Public Defender Commission was appointed to represent both men, who will be held without bond at the adult detention center.