By Ray King
A $100,000 bond was set Tuesday for a Pine Bluff man accused of shooting another man to death Saturday.
Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth set the bond after ruling prosecutors have probable cause to charge Rickey Smith, 43, with first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Smith is accused of shooting Jimmy Douglas, 40, who was taken to Jefferson Hospital in a private vehicle Saturday and then sent to a Little Rock hospital where he died Sunday night.
Detective Corey Wilfong reported that when he arrived at the hospital, Douglas was being treated for a gunshot wound that entered the front of the head and exited the back of the head.
Deputy Prosecutor Jay Gerard said Wilfong received three phone calls saying that Douglas had been shot at Womack Body Shop at 1207 Ohio St., after an altercation with someone named Rickey. Police went to the shop where they found blood, a hat and glasses.
On Monday, Detectives went back to the business where they found a projectile on the parking lot and an employee later identified as Smith sweeping the lot. When the employee was asked if he knew Rickey, he initially said no then later identified himself and said, “he shot at me before I shot him.”
Wilfong reported that when Smith was questioned, he waived his right to an attorney and agreed to answer questions. Smith said Douglas had dropped off his truck Thursday or Friday and “had an attitude and was trying to tell employees how to work on his vehicle.”
Smith went on to say that Douglas came back Saturday to pick up the vehicle and still had an attitude. He said he and Douglas got into a verbal altercation and Douglas pulled out a gun and started shooting and he shot back. He also said there were witnesses to the incident and that video from the business would back up his version of the incident.
Wilfong reported that he interviewed the witnesses who said they were not present and only heard about the shooting. Smith also told Wilfong that he had taken the gun to his uncle’s apartment and Wilfong went to the apartment where the uncle sighed a consent to search form. The uncle took detectives to the bedroom where they found a .22-caliber revolver under a pillow in the bedroom. The uncle said Smith had left the gun on the table and he put it up.
Gerard said video from the business appears to back up Smith’s story but the fact that he had taken the gun and hid it and was sweeping up projectiles from the parking lot gives the state probable cause to hold Smith. Also, he had prior felony convictions in the 1900’s for probable cause to charge Smith with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Smith.