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A first-degree murder charge was filed Monday in Sharp County against a 36-year-old accused in an attack that left an Arkansas man dead and a woman injured.

Mark Shirley of DeWitt has been charged in the bludgeoning death of Mark Ballard, according to a news release from Henry Boyce, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Third Judicial Circuit.

Deputies were called to a home on U.S. 167 south of Ash Flat shortly after noon Oct. 2. When they arrived, they found Ballard and Amanda Shirley unresponsive in a bedroom. Both were covered in blood, Counts said.

Mark Shirley is related to Amanda Shirley, Sharp County Sheriff Mark Counts previously said.

Also on Monday, Freddie Johnston, 34, of Ash Flat was charged in the shooting death of Jeremy Watkins earlier this month. The shooting took place Nov. 2, and Watkins died 10 days later, according to another news release from Boyce.

Read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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