Sus­pects in girl’s death get trial dates

Pair pleaded in­no­cent to mur­der charges in shoot­ing of 2-year-old in Lit­tle Rock

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - JOHN LYNCH

Pu­laski County Cir­cuit Judge Barry Sims set a De­cem­ber trial date Thurs­day for the 17-year-old boy ac­cused of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fa­tal shoot­ing of a 2-year-old girl in Lit­tle Rock while she was rid­ing in a car with her mother and oth­ers.

The slay­ing sparked an on­go­ing in­crease in vi­o­lence be­tween feud­ing gang fac­tions in the state’s cap­i­tal city, po­lice have said.

Larry James Jack­son of North Lit­tle Rock and co-de­fen­dant De­shaun Ma­lik Rush­ing, 21, of Lit­tle Rock were in cir­cuit court for the first time Thurs­day to an­swer charges of cap­i­tal mur­der and six counts each of un­law­ful dis­charge of a firearm from a ve­hi­cle.

Pros­e­cu­tors an­nounced that they will be seek­ing life sen­tences for the de­fen­dants.

Jack­son and Rush­ing were ar­rested in May, six months af­ter 2-year-old Ramiya Reed was shot when some­one fired into the car con­tain­ing her, her mother, an adult cousin and four other chil­dren.

Killed about two months af­ter her sec­ond birth­day, the lit­tle girl was the only one hit by bul­lets.

Since a down­town night­club shoot­ing last month wounded 28 peo­ple, a fed­eral, state and lo­cal task force has been formed to fo­cus on gang vi­o­lence. Lit­tle Rock po­lice at­trib­uted the Power Ul­tra Lounge shoot­ing to a gang dis­pute, but so far no one has been charged in con­nec­tion to the vi­o­lence.

The only ar­rest di­rectly re­lated to the club shoot­ing has been a body­guard for the rap mu­si­cian who was per­form­ing at the club, and he has been in­dicted on fed­eral gun charges.

Lit­tle Rock has had 39 homi­cides this year. The city has av­er­aged 40 a year since 1985, with killings peak­ing at 68 in 1993. The low­est was 24 slay­ings in 2010.

Jack­son and Rush­ing ap­peared Thurs­day in sep­a­rate hear­ings about 18 min­utes apart to have their tri­als sched­uled. Their lawyers, Julie Jack­son and Les­lie Bor­gognoni, re­quested jury tri­als for the pair, who have pleaded in­no­cent to the charges.

At the re­quest of chief deputy pros­e­cu­tor John John­son, Jack­son, who al­ready has two felony con­vic­tions and more felony charges pend­ing, will be the first to stand trial.

Rush­ing’s trial is sched­uled for Fe­bru­ary.

The ev­i­dence against the pair has not been dis­closed, but their ar­rests tied to­gether two of Lit­tle Rock’s most no­to­ri­ous re­cent homi­cides: Ramiya’s killing, which oc­curred two days be­fore Thanks­giv­ing, and the un­solved slay­ing of 60-year-old Shirley Ann Jack­son.

The mother of three chil­dren and grand­mother of 12, who does not ap­pear to be re­lated to Larry Jack­son, was killed in an April drive-by at her Park Lane home where she was car­ing for nine chil­dren in an un­li­censed day care.

Rush­ing was also shot near Shirley Jack­son’s home dur­ing the drive-by; po­lice said she was an in­no­cent vic­tim. None of the chil­dren in the house were in­jured.

Rush­ing also faces felony con­tra­band charges stem­ming from his ar­rest in the mur­der case. Rush­ing sur­ren­dered to au­thor­i­ties af­ter learn­ing he was a wanted man. Sher­iff’s deputies found a bag of mar­i­juana in his rec­tum when he was be­ing booked into the jail, ac­cord­ing to ar­rest re­ports.

He is also fac­ing charges from a Fe­bru­ary ar­rest in which Lit­tle Rock po­lice say he rammed a stolen car into two pa­trol cars while of­fi­cers were try­ing to ap­pre­hend him. Rush­ing has been on pro­ba­tion since Septem­ber for an April 2016 ar­rest in which po­lice found him with co­caine and mar­i­juana.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.