HOT SPRINGS -- A Garland County Circuit Court jury was unable to reach a verdict for a second time in the murder trial of a man accused in a 2017 shooting death outside Behind the Mall Cinema, but it convicted him on other felony charges.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for almost five hours Wednesday after a two-day trial but was unable to unanimously find Dylan Wayne Carpenter of Hot Springs guilty of second-degree murder in the Jan. 15, 2017, death of Quadryon Gipson of Hot Springs.
Guilty verdicts were returned on the more serious charge of committing a terroristic act, punishable by up to life in prison, and the lesser charge of first-degree battery, punishable by up to 20 years. After deliberating for less than 30 minutes late Wednesday, the jury recommended a sentence of 10 years on each count, to run concurrently.
Garland County Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Lawrence said she had not decided Thursday whether to try Carpenter again on the murder count.
"We have to consider that we have spent the money to try it twice now with the same result," she said. "We have to go back to the drawing board and look at all the evidence again."
Carpenter, 22, was previously tried on the same charges June 27 and 28, and the jury deadlocked on all of the charges, resulting in a mistrial. This time jurors found him guilty on the terroristic act charge, which is a Class Y felony.
Lawrence stressed that no decision will be made without previously talking with Gipson's mother. She said this was "a novel case" since it involved a drug deal with Carpenter claiming that he was defending himself.
Carpenter admitted to Hot Springs police and has testified that he shot Gipson, 20, when it became clear that Gipson planned to rob him instead of buy drugs from him when they met for the exchange in the parking lot of the theater at 4501 Central Ave. in Hot Springs.
Carpenter also has admitted to shooting in the knee Malik Deon Blevins, 22, of Mountain Pine, who had accompanied Gipson to the scene. Blevins pleaded guilty May 8 to robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Gipson's death and was sentenced to 10 years, with the sentences to run concurrently.
A third person, Mochariee Kewanna West, 23, who police said was with Gipson and Blevins, is charged with aggravated robbery and manslaughter. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 31.
Blevins testified at both of Carpenter's trials, admitting that he and Gipson had planned to rob Carpenter and that Gipson was armed with a BB gun when they confronted Carpenter.
According to an affidavit in the case, Carpenter told police he had walked over to the black Ford Explorer where Blevins was sitting in the back seat. An altercation occurred as he was talking with Blevins and Gipson, during which Carpenter pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and shot Gipson and then fired a shot into the vehicle, hitting Blevins.
Carpenter fled the scene but later surrendered to police. He was released on $150,000 bond March 17, 2017, and pleaded innocent to the charges April 3, 2017.
Blevins was arrested Feb. 10, 2017, and told police that he and Gipson went to the theater with West to buy drugs from Carpenter and planned to rob him, an affidavit said. Search warrants were obtained for cellphones belonging to Blevins and Gipson, and text messages among the three were located on each phone that spoke about the plan to meet with Carpenter, according to the affidavit.
State Desk on 12/07/2018
Print Headline: Man charged in shooting death outside Arkansas movie theater found guilty of 2 counts, but not murder