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.
Arrest date: April 13, 2014
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.