A judge on Friday set a high bail for a man charged with capital murder after one of his purported accomplices in a home invasion died in a crash as they fled the scene.
Elijah Cooley, 30, of Pine Bluff made an initial appearance in Pulaski County District Court on Friday after his arrest Thursday on charges of capital murder and aggravated robbery.
Cooley didn't speak during a brief appearance by video Friday morning before District Judge Wayne Gruber, who set Cooley's bail at $3 million and entered a preliminary innocent plea on his behalf.
Police say Cooley; Reddie Robert Stanley, 24; and Cloie Jolus, 36, were fleeing the scene of the home invasion at 3300 W. Hensley Road when their vehicle wrecked about a mile away Monday night.
Jolus died from her injuries on the way to the hospital. Stanley remained at UAMS Medical Center on Thursday night.
Cooley told investigators he was "at the scene of the robbery" and was in the fleeing vehicle, according to probable cause affidavit. He also said Stanley was driving and that he and Joles had "asked him several times to slow down," the affidavit noted.
Cooley wasn't there when authorities arrived at the crash scene in the 4700 block of West Hensley Road about 10 p.m. Monday. He said later he fled to a nearby house and called his father to pick him up, the affidavit said.
Cooley was arrested after he was released from CHI St. Vincent Infirmary, where he was taken for treatment of injuries suffered in the wreck.
The 77-year-old home invasion victim told investigators he was pepper-sprayed by two men who then made off with his wallet and cellphone after he opened the door for a woman who said her car had broken down in the area. The group, who authorities identified as Jolus, Stanley and Cooley, then fled in the dark-colored pickup that crashed moments later, hitting a tree.
Charges against Stanley are pending, police have said.