By Ray King

Pine Bluff Police Chief Lloyd Franklin Sr., on Tuesday, talked about the two Christmas morning homicides in Pine Bluff when he appeared on the Oldies 101.3 morning show.

In one of the two cases, the body of Deondrick Clark, 24, was found in a vehicle parked at Ernesto’s, a club at 221 S. Blake St., and Clark was pronounced dead at the scene. Franklin said there was a story that goes along with the two homicides that occurred at that location.

Court records showed that a jury found Clark not guilty of capital murder and other offenses following a five-day trial in June 2021. He had been charged in the Nov. 8, 2017 shooting death of Willie Oglesby, who was found inside a vehicle sitting in the roadway at 29th Avenue and Hazel Street.

Police reported that Oglesby had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his back and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

In addition to Clark, a second male, age 19, was found shot to death near Ernesto’s and before he died, told police he had been shot “at the club.”

Franklin said he had a conversation with Mayor Shirley Washington about the club.

The other Christmas day homicide resulted in the death of Shamarrius “Mario” Henderson, 30, who was shot in the area of 5th Avenue and University Drive and went to 318 W. 15th Ave., where he was pronounced dead at the scene. A second male who was also in the vehicle was wounded and taken to Jefferson Regional Hospital where his injuries were said to be “non-life-threatening.”

In 2021, 29 homicides were reported in Pine Bluff, two more than in 2020 and one more than in 2019. Franklin said the department will “lower that number” this year.