The second of three men accused in the January 2018 robbery and slaying of a 33-year-old North Little Rock man has been sentenced to prison.
Sentencing papers filed Monday by senior deputy prosecutor Jeanna Sherrill show that Johnathan Leandrew Hall, 19, of North Little Rock pleaded guilty before Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza to second-degree murder and robbery in exchange for a 55-year prison sentence.
The remaining defendant, David Donnell Bell, 29, is scheduled to stand trial on capital murder and aggravated robbery charges in November, with prosecutors seeking a life sentence.
Zechariah Timothy Isaac "Nino" Jones was fatally wounded just before 3 a.m. Jan. 26, 2018, in his home at 4105 Pike Ave. by three armed robbers who gunned down the father of two in front of his girlfriend when Jones, who was on probation for marijuana trafficking, refused to surrender his money, court filings show.
The gunmen fled with Talisha Ann Brown's car keys, a belt and a wallet, but left the 30-year-old North Little Rock woman unharmed, police said.
Court files show that Brown told investigators that about 30 minutes before the shooting, she and Jones had been getting ready for bed when a man knocked on their door and asked to come in. The visitor was Braylon Tarmon Winston, an acquaintance of Jones, and he let Winston inside.
Brown said Winston, 20, of North Little Rock, wanted to borrow money from Jones but Jones said he didn't have any money. Brown told police that while the men were talking she saw a man in a red hoodie outside the window. When she mentioned it to Jones and Winston, they told her she was imagining things and went back to talking.
A few minutes later, the man in the red hoodie, later determined by authorities to be Hall, and a man in a dark hoodie came into the house with guns. Winston also pulled out a pistol and the three told Jones to give up whatever money he had.
The man in the dark hoodie, believed by authorities to be David Bell, started fighting with Jones when he refused to give them money, and all three men opened fire on him.
Winston and Hall, who were on probation together for a pair of car break-ins, surrendered to police five days later, with Winston admitting that he and Bell had shot Jones while trying to rob him. Hall said he had been with Bell and Winston but had parted ways with them when they went to Jones' house.
Hall said he was about a block away from Jones' house when he heard gunshots. He said the two came running up to him and that one of them accidentally shot him in the leg. The men had tried to treat the injury with gauze but Hall never got medical treatment. Police took him to the hospital where doctors determined he had bullet fragments in his left ankle that had fractured the bone.
Under the conditions of the plea agreement, negotiated by Hall's attorney, Jack Kearney, the original charges of capital murder and aggravated robbery were reduced, and his 55-year sentence will run concurrently with the 10-year sentence he received for his other crimes:
• Theft by receiving for June 24, 2017, arrest at 200 College Park Circle in North Little Rock for driving a stolen 2017 Subaru Outback.
• Possession of drug paraphernalia for a July 25, 2017, arrest following a traffic stop at 17th and Vine streets in North Little Rock on a car Hall was a passenger in. The driver and two other passengers ran away. Police found digital scales, suspected marijuana and $480 in the car.
• Possession of cocaine for Oct. 17, 2017, arrest at 322 W. 14th St. in North Little Rock, the home of Cadarius Flennord Moore, 20. Police also arrested Moore after finding a gun and a stolen computer in the residence. Moore pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and theft by receiving in April 2018 in exchange for five years on probation.
Winston pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in November in exchange for a 28-year prison sentence. He cannot qualify for parole until September 2037 when he will be 38.
Despite a local manhunt, Bell could not be found immediately. He was not arrested for another six weeks when he was caught in March 2018 in Harrisburg, Pa., by U.S. Marshals and local authorities.
Bell had already been a fugitive for about six weeks when Jones was killed, court filings show. On Dec. 11, 2017, he had pleaded guilty to felony charges of commercial burglary and theft from separate arrests:
• On Sept. 18, 2016, a drunken Bell was discovered by Little Rock police inside the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, 224 S. Spring St., using a prosecutor's computer to access Facebook. Authorities said he'd thrown a rock through an office window to get inside.
• On Feb. 12, 2017, Bell was charged with felony theft for his role in the theft of about $10,000 from the U.S. Bank branch at 401 W. Capitol Ave. in Little Rock. Charged with Bell was bank teller Michael Dakota Allen, 27, of Bryant after bank officials discovered that Allen, over a seven-week span between Aug. 16, 2016, and Oct. 6, 2016, overrode the system to withdraw $10,010 in overdrafts from two bank accounts belonging to Bell. Allen quit his job when the scheme was discovered and pleaded guilty in November 2017 in exchange for five years on probation on the condition that he make restitution.
Bell did not return to court for sentencing, which resulted in an arrest warrant. He was sentenced to three years in prison on the charges in July.
Metro on 08/17/2019
Print Headline: NLR man gets 55-year sentence for murder, theft