An investigation into the shooting death of a Pine Bluff man in July has resulted in the arrest of a suspect and formal charges filed against him.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter has charged Arnett May Jr., 19, of Pine Bluff with capital murder and aggravated robbery stemming from the July 17 shooting death of Sa’Tavis Reece, 18, who was found inside a house st 82 S. Richard Drive in the Dollarway area. Reece was taken to Jefferson Regional and then to University Hospital at Little Rock where he was pronounced dead.
May was arrested Thursday and will be held without bond at the Adult Detention Center.
According to a probable cause affidavit from Detective Ryan Moheb, Reece had a gunshot wound to his right forearm, the right side of his chest and the upper-right abdomen.
Video footage obtained from home security cameras showed Cha’Dra Thomas, 19, and a group of males were seen walking east on South Richard Drive and a silver passenger car occupied by Reece and May was parked on the north side of Richard Drive. Thomas was seen approaching the passenger side of the car where May was sitting in the front passenger seat. Thomas pulled out a handgun from his right pocket and moved the gun to his left hand, then handed it to May. Thomas was then seen reaching into the vehicle, pulling back, struggling with May, then running away.
Thomas was seen turning and firing a single shot as he ran, and Reece was seen getting out of the vehicle from the driver’s seat. May got out of the vehicle and aimed at Thomas but did not fire a shot. An occupant in the rear of the vehicle was also seen pointing a rifle toward Thomas, then sat in the driver’ seat and took control of the vehicle. As the vehicle drove east, May was seen hanging out the front passenger seat holding a rifle.
Thomas, who was originally arrested but then released, told police that when he approached the vehicle driven by Reece, May was in the front passenger seat holding a rifle. He said May asked him if he had a handgun and Thomas said he did, pulling out a 9-millimeter Glock that he showed May. Thomas said May told him he was now stealing the gun, Thomas said he attempted to take the gun back because he feared for his life. He said May held on to the rifle during the struggle and said a single gunshot went off. Thomas also said he knew the handgun didn’t go off because neither he or May had their finger in the handgun’s trigger guard.
Officers assigned to the department’s Violent Crimes Unit identified May from the video and said they knew he went by “EBK Ralph” on Facebook.
A firearms enhancement to the charges means that if convicted, May could be subject to an additional term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 years that would be served consecutively with any other sentence he receives.
The case was assigned to First Division Circuit Judge Alex Guynn.