Judge sets bail at $850,000 in Rus­sel­lville slay­ings

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - DAVE HUGHES

A Pope County man charged with shoot­ing two men and crush­ing their bod­ies in a car is ex­pected to be re­leased from jail to­day after a judge granted a de­fense mo­tion Mon­day to set bail.

Cir­cuit Judge David Laser of Jones­boro set bail for Tyler Bare­field, 35, at $850,000 dur­ing a mo­tions hear­ing in Rus­sel­lville.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pope County sher­iff’s of­fice, Bare­field was ex­pected to be re­leased on bond to­day.

Prose­cut­ing At­tor­ney David Gib­bons said con­di­tions of the bond were that Bare­field must wear an an­kle mon­i­tor­ing bracelet, he can­not travel more than 100 miles from Rus­sel­lville and he must sur­ren­der his pass­port.

Bare­field is charged with two counts of cap­i­tal mur­der in the Sept. 16 deaths of Aaron Brock, 22, and Beau De­Witt, 22, both of Dar­danelle.

Their bod­ies were found crushed in a car at U-Pull-It Auto Parts, a Rus­sel­lville sal­vage yard in which Bare­field was part owner.

Bare­field was sched­uled to go on trial to­day, but Gib­bons said his trial was con­tin­ued un­til June 10 be­cause of the lengthy trial prepa­ra­tion in­volved in the case.

Bare­field’s at­tor­ney, Pa­trick Benca of Lit­tle Rock, had filed a mo­tion March 7 ask­ing Laser for a new bail hear­ing. Gib­bons had pointed out in his re­sponse filed Fri­day that a dis­trict judge in Septem­ber and a cir­cuit judge in Novem­ber had de­nied re­quests for bail for Bare­field.

The Arkansas Supreme Court de­nied Benca’s re­quest in Jan­uary for a writ of cer­tio­rari to over­turn the cir­cuit court’s bail de­nial, Gib­bons wrote.

In his bail re­con­sid­er­a­tion mo­tion, Bemca cited sev­eral changes since the ini­tial de­nial of bail that he said en­ti­tled Bare­field to bail.

In­for­ma­tion dis­cov­ered dur­ing trial prepa­ra­tions, he wrote, raised ques­tions about state wit­ness tes­ti­mony in the pre­vi­ous bond hear­ing.

Benca also ar­gued that the state an­nounced last month it was not seek­ing the death penalty against Bare­field.

And “a change of cir­cum­stances has oc­curred since the pre­vi­ous bond hear­ing, as fam­ily mem­bers of the de­ceased have re­quested mem­bers of a white su­prem­a­cist group harm the de­fen­dant while he is in jail,” Benca al­leged in the mo­tion.

The state failed to show “the proof is ev­i­dent or the pre­sump­tion great” that the case war­rants the cap­i­tal mur­der charges or, if con­victed, cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment, he ar­gued. If Bare­field had not been charged with cap­i­tal mur­der, he would be en­ti­tled to have bail.

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