JONESBORO — Prosecutors have dropped murder and battery charges against a suspect in a shooting last year in northeast Arkansas after deciding the case didn’t implicate him.
Chauncey Thomas, 19, and Kalius Lane, 20, were charged with first-degree murder and first-degree battery in the May 14 shooting that left one person dead and six injured in Jonesboro.
Court documents show prosecutors amended Thomas’ criminal information to show him being charged only with hindering apprehension, saying there wasn’t a sufficient basis to proceed against him. Prosecutors believe he harbored Lane after the shooting.
Court records show Thomas pleaded guilty to the charge Tuesday and was sentenced to five years of suspended imposition of sentence on condition that he testifies in Lane’s trial.
The charges stem from the fatal shooting of Monterio Barnes, 18, of Jonesboro during an early morning altercation at The Basement, a South Main Street business that caters parties.
Thomas surrendered to police several hours after the shooting. U.S. marshals arrested Lane on May 15 at his girlfriend’s house in Mesquite, Texas.
Lane made several comments on his Facebook page proclaiming his innocence after the shooting. He also posted a news release about warrants issued for his arrest. He said the Jonesboro police “gotta work for me” and he taunted law enforcement officials.