Formal charges have been filed against two Camden men accused of robbing a pawn shop and a convenience store on Nov. 12 and shooting the owner of the pawn shop to death.
Late Thursday afternoon, Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter charged Daryl Anthony Dwayne Strickland, 21, and Rodney Tyrone Henry, 21, with capital murder, attempted capital murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and theft of property.
Prosecutors are also seeking a firearms enhancement, which could add up to 15 additional years to any sentence they might receive. That enhancement is for the use of a firearm during the commission of each felony.
The cases were assigned to Circuit Judge Alex Guynn.
Brandon McHan, 34, the owner of the Wise Buck Pawn Shop at 2408 S. Camden Road, was shot and taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An employee of the store, Jason W. Booth, was also shot and taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, then to a Little Rock hospital.
An outpouring of community support followed McHan’s murder. Hundreds turned out for a candlelight vigil at his pawn shop, and thousands of dollars in donations were raised for his family to help cover their expenses.
While police were still on the scene of that incident, they were called to the Alon convenience store at 28th Avenue and Olive Street, where a clerk told officers that two black males had entered the store with guns. While one of them approached the front counter, the second suspect put a gun to the clerk’s head before taking an undisclosed amount of money.
Police obtained video of both robberies and determined that the same suspects were involved in both incidents. With the help of the Federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency, those videos were enhanced and released to the media and social media. The federal agency joined in the investigation because McHan was a federally licensed firearms dealer.
An anonymous tip led police to Strickland and Henry, who were staying at a residence in Pine Bluff on Nov. 28. A shell casing was found after the resident gave permission to search the home. Strickland and Henry were released at that time, pending further investigation, and the shell casing was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.
On Dec. 3, the crime lab sent a preliminary report that the shell casing matched one found at the pawn shop, and officers and ATF agents traveled to Camden, where Strickland and Henry were arrested at two separate locations.
After being brought back to Pine Bluff, both men were questioned, and Strickland admitted to shooting inside the Wise Buck Pawn Shop and to being involved in the robbery of the Alon convenience store. He told police that their intention was only to rob each business. Henry denied any involvement in either incident.
Following a probable cause hearing Dec. 5, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth ruled prosecutors had probable cause to charge both men and that they would be held without bond.
The Arkansas Public Defender Commission was appointed to represent Strickland and Henry, who have no prior felony convictions. However, both have pending charges in Ouachita County (Camden).
Henry was accused of theft of property more than $5,000 but less than $25,000, a Class C felony, and first-degree criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor, stemming from an incident Sept. 21, 2018. Strickland was charged with rape stemming from an incident on Nov. 18, 2017.
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.