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Coroner: LR woman shot by lover in 'accident' declared brain-dead

Shooter's charge upgraded to murder, police say

By ArkansasOnline

This article was originally published April 16, 2014 at 3:40 p.m. Updated April 16, 2014 at 5:03 p.m.

Juan C Montalba

Arrested in Pulaski County, AR on April 13, 2014

Authorities say a Little Rock man who admitted to shooting his girlfriend in a purported accident Sunday is now charged with first-degree murder after the woman was declared brain-dead Wednesday morning.

Lemen Arana, 24, of Little Rock was declared brain-dead shortly before noon, Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobbs said. Arana has been on life support at UAMS Medical Center since she suffered a gunshot wound in the head early Sunday morning.

Little Rock Police Department Lt. Sidney Allen had said in an email Wednesday afternoon that Arana died at 11:49 a.m., but Hobbs said that was the time she was declared brain-dead by hospital officials. Hobbs indicated that Arana would remain on life support until her organs could be harvested.

Police responded around 3 a.m. Sunday to an "unknown trouble" call at 8485 Stanton Road, where 25-year-old Juan Montalba of Little Rock was found "acting hysterical and screaming" as he ran at the officers' car, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

Montalba, who was Arana's boyfriend, initially told officers that two Hispanic men shot her. However, in an interview with investigators, Montalba later admitted “he accidentally shot [Arana] when he began poking her with a pistol,” police reports state.

Montalba, who had no prior criminal record, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting. He is being held in the Pulaski County jail without bail.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated Arana had died at 11:49 a.m., and that her first name is Lewen. That information was based on erroneous information provided by the Little Rock Police Department and has been corrected in the story above.

Comments on: Coroner: LR woman shot by lover in 'accident' declared brain-dead

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 total comments

TGRANNY says... April 16, 2014 at 11:28 p.m.

Does this young lady have any family? Did they agree to donate her organs. This story is so empty, it makes me feel numb inside, sounds so sad. This article kind of makes the young lady seem like she was not even a human being and that no one cares about her, just another organ donor. Okay, maybe her drivers license indicated that she was an organ donor, she was still a human being.

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6YrTwitch says... April 17, 2014 at 7:19 a.m.

Yes Lemen has family. And I agree the article was cold. I worked with her in West Little Rock for several years.

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