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$3 million bail set in getaway-crash murder case

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published June 13, 2014 at 8:58 a.m.

Elijah Cooley

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.


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Nodmcm says... June 13, 2014 at 11:48 a.m.

There is not a crime much more terrifying than being robbed in your own home. There is not a much more treacherous way to gain entry to someone's home than by claiming there was a car wreck on the road outside, especially if the person seeking help is a woman. This sort of crime is becoming more and more common. Note that these folks got $400 from the victim's wallet, and probably would have gotten clean away had they not wrecked their truck while making their escape. Armed robbery already carries criminal penalties up to life imprisonment for the first offense, so making the laws tougher is not the answer. Will everyone have to open their front door pointing a shotgun at the person knocking? Maybe no one opens their doors at all, and legitimate car wreck victims must simply rely on their cellphones and emergency responders. This is a very tough problem that is probably not going away soon, and will get worse before it gets better.

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Capitalist12 says... June 13, 2014 at 9:23 p.m.

This clearly demonstrates why the 2nd Amendment is so vital. Protection against criminal attack in ones own home. Police cannot be everywhere, and people need to protect themselves against those who would attempt violence against them.
The victims were very fortunate that they did not get shot and killed.

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