A 38-year-old Little Rock man who fatally shot another man last year has been sentenced to three years on probation for possessing the gun he used.
Police and prosecutors cleared Omarese Conlley Humphrey of wrongdoing for the slaying but charged him with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Class B felony. He pleaded guilty to a reduced version of the charge -- a Class D felony -- on Tuesday in exchange for the probated sentence imposed by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Karen Whatley.
According to police reports and court filings, parolee Brian Deshaun McDowell, 39, was found shot dead at 1923 Rice St., about three hours before sunrise on March 25, 2021. An anonymous 911 call had brought police to the otherwise empty house between West 19th and West 22nd streets.
McDowell's stepfather, Vincent Bogard, 66, arrived at the residence, telling investigators that McDowell's sister, 48-year-old Lawanna Allen, had called him to check on McDowell. Allen was out of town but had heard McDowell had been shot, Bogard told police.
Allen told investigators she'd heard that from her ex-husband but that's all he told her. Her ex, in turn, said he'd gotten a call about McDowell from someone he knew only as Jay but didn't know anything about what had happened to McDowell.
Investigators tracked down the sole tenant of the residence, 53-year-old Calvin "Daddio" Thomas, who told them that he, McDowell, whom he knew as Hussle, and Humphrey had been at the house with three others, Royard "Lil Roy" Britton, 43, Glenn "Perm" Harris, 47, and Fatina "T-Baby" Tyler, 38.
Describing his home as a place regularly used to buy, sell and use illegal drugs, Thomas said there were others at the residence whom he did not know, according to police reports.
Thomas said Humphrey and McDowell were outside when McDowell, appearing to be under the influence of drugs, began acting aggressively toward Humphrey. Thomas said he went inside and didn't see anything else go on between the men, but a short time later Humphrey told him that "Hussle just put a gun to my head and said, 'I'll kill you.' I don't want to have to shoot this man."
McDowell then forced his way into a locked bedroom to get at Humphrey, Thomas told police, describing how McDowell had grabbed at Humphrey, who had produced a gun, possibly a 9mm.
The pair began to fight, with McDowell producing a smaller pistol, like a .22, just before he heard guns firing, Thomas said, stating that he heard seven to eight shots. He said he ran from the house to the friend's home where police had found him, stating that the last he saw of McDowell and Humphrey, was Humphrey running from the room with McDowell grabbing the man's back before falling face down, his pistol still in hand.
According to police reports, Britton described seeing an "erratic and aggressive" McDowell "bow up" on a goateed man at the house but that he had left the residence before the shooting due to "the vibe being off." Britton was not able to identity the goateed man but said McDowell appeared to be under the influence of drugs and scaring others at the house.
Tyler said she saw both Harris and McDowell that morning, stating that she saw Humphrey with a gun and heard him tell someone, "I ain't going to leave no witnesses."
The comment scared her so she left, Tyler told police, saying she was several houses down the block when she heard gunshots, which prompted her to run.
Harris later told police that he had been at the Rice Street house to buy drugs, purchasing them from McDowell then leaving. Harris said he came back later, stating that he saw McDowell arguing with a stranger so he did not stop at the house. He said he was some distance away when he heard gunshots that sounded like they were coming from the residence but he did not see who fired them, telling investigators he didn't know who had killed McDowell.
Arrested that same day, Humphrey declined to answer police questions and spent two days in jail on the gun charge before posting a $10,000 bond. With a criminal history dating back to 2005, Humphrey has six prior felony convictions, including fleeing and theft. He's been on probation since 2018 for insurance fraud and drug possession.
McDowell is a former murder suspect who was awaiting trial on firearm and police battery charges when he was killed. He was also a fugitive on warrants for kidnapping, aggravated residential burglary and second-degree battery, court records show.
McDowell was on parole on a 25-year prison sentence on gun and drug charges stemming from his arrest on first-degree murder charges. McDowell and two other men had been charged with murder over the August 2011 slaying of a Little Rock man at a Little Rock convenience store.
The other Little Rock men, Anthony Level "Lil Stain" Fletcher, 39 and Patrick Earl "Patcheo" Robinson, 41, pleaded guilty in 2012 to reduced manslaughter charges for the shooting death of 23-year-old Jarodd Jarell Gatewood, with prosecutors subsequently dropping the murder charge against McDowell in exchange fro his guilty plea to the gun and drug charges. He had been arrested with a gun and drugs by the detectives who arrested him in the murder case. McDowell had been approved for parole in June 2019.
McDowell's criminal history includes a 10-year prison sentence at age 15 for armed robbery and a five-year sentence for 2005 drug convictions.