On Monday, Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney ruled that prosecutors have probable cause to charge Derek Payne, 38, with capital murder and abuse of a corpse. He will be held at the adult detention center without bond.
Payne was taken into custody in connection with the death of Christoper Jones, 36, whose body was found in the bedroom of a house at 110 S. Larch St. on June 14. Jefferson County Coroner Chad Kelley pronounced Jones dead at the scene and sent the body to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.
Detective Steven Rucker said in a probable cause affidavit presented in district court Monday that the Medical Examiner notified police June 18th that Jones had been stabbed on the right side of the chest and his throat had been cut. The medical examiner also reported that the cause of death was sharp force injuries to the neck and chest, along with smoke and soot inhalation.
A witness said Payne told him that Jones was attempting to start a generator when it blew up, killing Jones.
When Payne was questioned, he signed a form indicating that his rights had been read to him and said that he had been present when Jones died. Payne said he, Jones and a female were the only ones there and said Jones attempted to start a generator when the generator blew up, catching Jones and the bedroom on fire. Payne denied stabbing Jones or cutting his throat.