Pine Bluff man gets 61 months for two federal gun charges

Jalyn McKinley Scott
Jalyn McKinley Scott

LITTLE ROCK -- A Pine Bluff man arrested on federal gun charges after the October 2020 slaying of a police officer at a Pine Bluff motel was sentenced to 61 months in federal prison on two charges Thursday.

Jalyn McKinley Scott, 23, was the subject of an intensive manhunt in and around Pine Bluff after the shooting death of Pine Bluff police detective Kevin Collins but was later cleared of any involvement in the shooting. KeShone Smith, 22, of Pine Bluff, who was a suspect in a Conyers, Ga., murder the previous June, is accused of shooting and killing Collins and wounding another officer as they tried to serve a warrant out of the Conyers Police Department. The two had been staying in a room at the Econo Lodge Hotel on Blake Street in Pine Bluff at the time of the shooting.

U.S. District Court Judge Kristine G. Baker sentenced Scott to one month in prison for transfer or possession of a machine gun and 60 months for possession of an unregistered firearm, both violations of federal law to which Scott pleaded guilty last August. Federal law requires that the sentences run consecutively.

Scott was also charged in 2020 with two counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and methamphetamine, according to a previous Commercial article. Those charges, however, were dropped as part of the plea deal.

Upon release from prison, Scott will serve three years on supervised release on each count, to run concurrently. In addition, Baker ordered Scott to undergo substance abuse and mental health treatments.

According to an affidavit, Scott was wanted for questioning regarding his involvement in the Oct. 5, 2020, shooting death of Collins, who was executing an arrest warrant at the Econo Lodge Hotel, 210 N. Blake St. Another officer was wounded and a third escaped injury when a protective vest stopped a gunshot directed at him.

An Arkansas state trooper was called to assist one or more agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who spotted Scott that day driving a gold Chevrolet Tahoe at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Juniper Street in Pine Bluff, according to the affidavit. The trooper eventually pulled Scott into an abandoned driveway on South Myrtle Street after Scott allegedly made several turns, and during the stop an FBI agent located a 9mm Glock-19 pistol.

A Glock switch was located on the back of the firearm, according to the affidavit. The switch reportedly allows a semi-automatic pistol to function as a fully automatic firearm.

In addressing the court, Scott apologized and said he took full responsibility for his actions. He had noted in the past he returned to Pine Bluff to help his mother -- who arrived along with his grandmother toward the end of the sentencing hearing -- after living with his father in Atlanta, whom he said had helped steer him clear of trouble.

"I thank the court for saving my life," Scott said. "If I stayed in the same environment [in Pine Bluff], I know for a fact I'd come home dead."

Scott's lawyer, John Charles Williams of Little Rock, said Scott did not have "sufficient guidance" growing up in Pine Bluff but "did fine" living with his father in Atlanta. Scott will be able to live a productive life once his prison term ends, Williams assured the court.

U.S. District Attorney Edward Onassis Walker told the court prosecutors were asking for a sentence "that captures a portion of time already served" and will include the drug and mental health treatment.

"Whatever happens after today, you have a good brain between your ears and you need to use it," Baker told Scott, noting that he earned his GED. "You just got caught up in things as a result of a lack of youthful guidance."