A now 20-year old Pine Bluff woman charged in the shooting death of a man in 2017 was sentenced to prison Friday after entering a plea to the crime.
Alexis Reed was 18 when she was accused of shooting Jerry Pryor, 18, on the parking lot of the Merrill Center at 1000 S. Ash St., on Aug. 9, 2017. Pryor was shot in the neck and taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Reed was charged with first-degree murder, but in a deal worked out with prosecutors and her attorney, Reed pleaded no contest to manslaughter during a hearing in front of Circuit Judge Alex Guynn and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
At the time of the murder, there were multiple witnesses who identified Reed as the person who shot Pryor after a reported argument. She then fled the scene and was not located until January 2018, when she was arrested by police in Louisville, Kentucky, and extradited back to Arkansas.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter said Reed will have to serve one-third of her sentence before she will be eligible for parole and could reduce that to one-sixth if she receives the maximum amount of good time available to her. She will also receive credit for the almost 17 months she has been held at the detention center awaiting trial.
One day after the fatal shooting on the Merrill Community Center property, Pine Bluff leaders visited the center to comfort children and offer a sense of normalcy.
Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington and her staff welcomed children to the center to be part of the “embracing community.” Washington decried the violence and asked for a spirit of healing and peace.
“In light of this tragic incident that took place, we are going to continue to stand strong for this community, support the Merrill Center, because we know what a vital facility this is in this particular neighborhood,” Washington said. “It serves many children, and without it, these kids would not have any place to go. We could not control what happened, but we took control as soon as it happened. We have an embracing staff of people working here who are a home away from home for kids in this community."