Pulaski County judge orders arrest of North Little Rock 20-year-old described as ‘core member’ of gang

Bond violation claim made

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Cathi Compton has ordered the arrest of a 20-year-old North Little Rock man who police say is a "core member" of the violent Gudda Boi Gang in the city, court filings show.

Demarcus Antawon Morris is awaiting trial on marijuana trafficking and firearm possession, charges that together carry a potential life sentence, stemming from a May 16, 2020, arrest on 29th and Percy Machin streets in North Little Rock. According to an arrest report, police found 42 grams of marijuana, about 1.5 ounces, a Glock pistol and $3,076 in a backpack in his car during a traffic stop. Officers had pulled Morris over because they knew he did not have a valid driver's license.

Further, the report describes Morris as a "core member" of "GBG," a "known ... gang that operates throughout the central Arkansas area" and is "involved in several violent crimes throughout the metro area, including terroristic acts, aggravated robberies." He spent three days in jail before posting a $50,000 bond.

Tuesday, Compton ordered Morris' arrest after deputy prosecutor Corinne Kwapis reported Morris had violated his bond conditions when North Little Rock police arrested him on May 30 on firearm possession and marijuana and prescription-medication trafficking charges.

According to an arrest report, police found a pistol where he had been sitting in the vehicle, along with a backpack at his feet containing marijuana and a second gun, one that had been modified to fire automatically. He was also found to be carrying suspected Xanax and Percocet pills, according to the report. Morris was released after posting $15,000 bond.

The driver of the car, 29-year-old Antonio Lamarcus Gurley of North Little Rock, was charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Gurley is currently under federal indictment on a felon in possession of a firearm charge. The indictment stems from his Dec. 19, 2020, arrest in Little Rock by Arkansas State Police with a pistol and a small amount of marijuana and prescription pills, according to the report.

In August 2020, about three weeks after his 18th birthday, Morris was shot at McCain Mall. North Little Rock investigators identified a suspect, Jawaun Deaunta Jordan, also known as Juwuan Jordan, now 26, within a week of the incident, but finding him took about six months.

Jordan initially claimed self-defense, with his attorney, Michael Kaiser, providing cellphone video to authorities reportedly showing multiple gang members "cornering and assaulting" Jordan at the Dixie Day celebration in the Dixie neighborhood in North Little Rock a few weeks before Morris was shot.

The recording is said to show Morris punching and chasing Jordan with other gang members beating, chasing and pistol-whipping Jordan, court files show. Two of them, unidentified in the pleadings, were with Morris at the McCain Mall shooting.

Further, police had information that Morris had assaulted a friend of Jordan's earlier that same day, with that friend being with Jordan at the mall.

Jordan, who has been on probation or parole for burglary and theft convictions since age 18, pleaded guilty to second-degree battery, reduced from first-degree battery, and being a felon in possession of a firearm for the shooting in September, in exchange for an eight-year prison term. He will be eligible for parole in January 2023.

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