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Security video of Little Rock shooting does not convince judge of defendant’s innocence

by John Lynch | November 17, 2022 at 4:14 a.m.

A 23-year-old Little Rock man accused in an ambush shooting that wounded another man claims to have video proof of his innocence, but the recording did not persuade Pulaski County Circuit Judge Cathi Compton, who said he can try his arguments again next month at his jury trial.

Keshon Monturriaus Adams is charged with first-degree battery, committing a terroristic act and felon in possession of a firearm over allegations he shot 49-year-old Quinceton Caldwell in April 2021 during a mid-evening ambush at the Chop Spot recording studio at 11715 Rainwood Road. The charges together carry a potential life sentence.

Adams' bail is set at $250,000, and Monday, his attorney Alex Morphis asked the judge to reduce it to $75,000, saying security video shows another man was the shooter.

Caldwell, the studio owner, was hit in the stomach and left hand by a gunman who was waiting outside the studio, firing at the older man when he came to the door.

Morphis said the two-minute recording shows the masked and hooded gunman is taller than his 5-foot, 5 inch client and that the real assailant was shot in the right shoulder during the exchange of gunfire with Caldwell.

Adams only became a suspect, in part, because he showed up at the hospital 30 minutes after Caldwell arrived with a bullet wound to his leg, Morphis told the judge.

Adams told police he had been shot on John Barrow Road, first saying he had been wounded while walking, then stating he was driving when he was shot, according to an arrest report.

Deputy prosecutor Robbie Jones scoffed at the innocence claim, telling the judge the defense is relying on an optical illusion caused by the camera angle, above and to the left of the shooter, and debris including gunsmoke kicked up from the shootout to claim the gunman was shot in the shoulder.

Seeing the video without receiving some kind of expert guidance as to what the recording shows doesn't give her any reason to reduce Adams' bail, the judge said, stating that she couldn't make out the gunman's height from the camera's perspective.

Other evidence of Adams' guilt is that Caldwell knows Adams and was able to pick his photograph out of a police lineup as his attacker, Jones told the judge, although Morphis disputed that identification was as strong as the prosecutor claimed, saying that Caldwell could only see the shooter's eyes.

Further proof is that when questioned by police about the shooting, Adams knew who the victim was before police told him, Jones said.

The shooting was the second at the studio in two days. Fredrick Wilson, 45, was shot in the chest there during a middle-of-the night attack by a man dressed all in black.

Wilson's brother, 48-year-old Clifton Hill, told police that Wilson went after the man after seeing him pulling on door handles at the shopping center that houses the studio.

He said he heard a gunshot and saw Wilson pull his own gun but did not fire, instead walking back inside the studio and collapsing. The incident was caught on video but no charges have been filed.

On probation for a forgery conviction since February 2019 for passing a stolen check in September 2018, Adams is also facing theft by receiving and a felon/firearm charge from a January 2021 arrest during a traffic stop.

Print Headline: Judge unpersuaded by video at hearing


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