Formal charges have been filed against a Pine Bluff man accused of killing another man in June, then setting fire to the house where the body was found.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter charged Derek Payne, 38, with capital murder, arson and abuse of a corpse in the June 14 death of Christopher Jones, 36, whose body was found by firefighters after they extinguished a blaze at a house at 110 S. Larch St.
According to a probable cause affidavit that was presented in district court on June 18, the State Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Jones had been stabbed on the right side of his chest and his throat had been cut. The Medical Examiner also reported that the cause of death was sharp force injuries to the chest and neck and smoke and soot inhalation.
During the course of the police investigation, Detective Steve Rucker reported that several witnesses were located who said Jones had been seen leaving the area of West 2d Avenue and Bay Street with Payne and one witness said that on June 15, a day after the body was found that Payne told the witness that he had been present when Jones died. The witness said Payne told him that Jones had been attempting to start a generator and it blew up.
When Payne was questioned, he waived his rights to an attorney and said he and a female were with Jones at the time of the incident. He said Jones was attempting to start a generator which blew up, catching Jones and the bedroom on fire. He denied stabbing Jones or cutting his throat.
When he was confronted with other evidence in the case, he asked that the interview be stopped and said he wanted an attorney.
Payne will be held without bond at the adult detention center until trial.