Bail reduced in tampering case linked to fatal shooting of central Arkansas mom

An 18-year-old Little Rock man arrested on an evidence-tampering charge in the July slaying of a Sherwood mother of six saw his bail reduced by two-thirds Thursday to $25,000.

That amount was still twice what Martieo F.D. Nash's attorney, Bobby Digby, has asked from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen. Nash is a recent high school graduate with a job who has never been in trouble with the law before, and the tampering charge is a minor felony that carries at most six years in prison, Digby told the judge. His bail had been set at $75,000, which was more than his family could afford.

Sherwood police had charged Nash with capital murder, but prosecutors declined to pursue those charges. His co-defendant, Zereak Zernell Oliver, is charged with first-degree murder, committing a terroristic act and aggravated robbery. Oliver's bail is $200,000, and both teens remained jailed Thursday evening.

The two were arrested after the July 16 fatal shooting of Regina Annice Jackson at her South Woodview Street home. They were apprehended after a police pursuit that ended on a dead-end Little Rock street.

During the chase, which was recorded on Arkansas State Police cameras, a backpack, containing the possible murder weapon, a 9mm pistol, was thrown out of the passenger window of the car, Sherwood detective Craig Grisham testified. Oliver was driving the vehicle and Nash was his passenger, Grisham told the judge.

Jackson was shot in the head during an attempt by Oliver to steal an AR-15 rifle from her son, Steve Cokley III, who had thought Oliver was interested in buying it, the detective said.

Rebuffed by Cokley when he tried to take the rifle by force, Oliver went and got a pistol out of the car, and Jackson was killed in the resulting exchange of gunfire, authorities said.

Digby told the judge there is no evidence that Nash played any role in Jackson's death. He said the teen did not go into the home with Oliver and that Cokley and Nash had never met. Cokley and Oliver, however, had had some previous dealings, according to testimony. Digby disputed that prosecutors could definitively prove that Nash threw the backpack, pointing to testimony that the police video doesn't show the person who tossed the pack.

Metro on 10/05/2018

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