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Bella Vista man held without bond in murder case

by Tracy Neal | May 6, 2021 at 12:33 p.m.
Zachary Avans

BENTONVILLE -- A circuit judge ordered a Bella Vista man accused of shooting and killing another man be held without bond in the Benton County Jail.

Zachary Avans, 22, appeared in court Thursday morning for a bond hearing. He was arrested last week in Mississippi in connection with killing Bryon Keith Blackmon and booked into the jail.

Judge Robin Green found probable cause exists to hold Avans in custody facing charges of capital murder and aggravated residential burglary.

Prosecutors have not filed formal charges against Avans. His arraignment is set for June 10.

Scott Parks, Avans' attorney, did not contest that probable cause existed to hold his client on the charges.

Blackmon, 30, was found shot on April 27 on Northwest Fifth Street. He died at Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville.

Joshua Robinson, deputy prosecutor, recommended Avans be held without bond. Robinson said Avans has failed to appear multiple times in criminal cases in Benton and Washington Counties.

Parks urged the judge to set some kind of bond for his client. Parks conceded that Avans has a history of failing to appear in court. Parks said Avans has lived in Northwest Arkansas since he was 11 years old. He described Avans' criminal history as one of drug issues, not violence.

Parks said it is his understanding Avans was on a planned trip in Mississippi, and it was not an attempt to flee the jurisdiction.

Green noted Avans failed to appear in her court in December and February in a drug case. She set bond at $20,000 in that case.

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