Pulaski County Circuit Judge Barry Sims on Monday rejected bail for a capital-murder defendant after hearing that authorities have surveillance video of the May slaying.
Jeremy Christopher Parks, 22, was shot twice in the back outside his Milkyway Drive residence May 21, and Jason Emmanuel Bridges, 20, was immediately identified as a suspect, court filings show. He surrendered to police five days after the shooting and has been held without bail since, charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery.
The judge rejected Bridges' bail request Monday after chief deputy John Johnson described the evidence against Bridges, saying that a neighbor's security camera recorded the encounter while witnesses, including Bridges' girlfriend, have corroborated the recording. Johnson said Bridges was at the residence looking to collect money from a drug deal.
Bridges did not speak at the hearing, but his public defender Fernando Padilla asked for $25,000 bail, saying it was the most his family could afford. He told the judge that Bridges has no previous felony convictions and has a job available if he is released.
According to an arrest affidavit by detective Matt Harrelson, the deadly encounter began when a shirtless man, with a gun visible in his pocket, walked up to the house and confronted a visitor at the home, 19-year-old Keelon Shorter, ordering Shorter to empty his pockets and give up his shoes.
Shorter told police that he immediately recognized the man as Bridges, whom he had met at Job Corps, saying that Parks actually knew Bridges better because the men had been friends.
Bridges also demanded to know where Parks was. Parks, another guest at the home, stepped outside and Bridges went to him and hit Parks in the head with the gun, Shorter said. Parks punched Bridges and then started shooting him before fleeing, Shorter told police.
The tenant, Titania Riney, 44, told police that she tried to intervene when she saw Shorter being robbed, the affidavit states. She said the robber told her Shorter had given him counterfeit money.
Riney offered the robber some of her money to resolve the conflict, telling the man he didn't have to go through with what he was doing. Riney told police she next saw the robber pull a gun as he walked around the carport and out of her sight.
At least three gunshots followed, and then she heard Shorter calling for help, she said. Riney said she stepped out of the carport and found Parks wounded. She called 911 while Shorter and her son put Parks in a car and drove him to the hospital.
Riney told investigators she thought the same man had come to her house about a week earlier and gotten into a fight with Shorter.
According to the affidavit, Shorter told police that he had been in a fight with Bridges at the house about a week earlier after Bridges had accused him and Parks of giving him counterfeit money to buy marijuana.
Police confirmed Bridges' identity after discovering a photograph of someone calling himself lil.ODawg taken about a week before the slaying, according to the affidavit. Police records connected that nickname to Bridges because investigators had encountered him while investigating a December 2017 fight between students at Robinson High School, according to reports.
In July 2018, Bridges, then 17, was arrested in Jacksonville on charges of aggravated robbery, first-degree battery and committing terroristic acts over accusations that he robbed and shot Cody Beaty of Conway outside the Zaxby's at 209 Marshall Road, firing at least six shots into the car Beaty and his then-girlfriend Ashlyn Essary of Jacksonville, were riding in, according to court filings. Police chased down and arrested Bridges and a 20-year-old man at the scene, the court filings show.