Prosecutors in Washington State have filed aggravated first-degree murder charges against a Pine Bluff man accused in the shooting deaths of his former girlfriend and her daughter.
If convicted, Kirkland C. Warren, now 27, would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
At the time of the incident, Warren was out on bond after being charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in the Dec. 12, 2017 shooting death of Curtis Urquhart, 57, whose body was found in a ditch in Arkansas County. Warren had been seen with Urquhart and when he was questioned, said Urquhart had asked him for money and became fearful for his life so he pulled a 22-caliber gun that had been under his seat and shot Urquhart in the head, then dumped the body in a ditch.
His family posted a $250,000 bond and Warren was released, later moving to Washington State and living in Vancouver.
Jefferson County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Cymber Tadlock told Deltaplex News that there is no prohibition against leaving the state while on bond.
That bond was revoked after Warren was arrested on domestic violence and false swearing to obtain a gun allegations in Washington State in an incident that occurred before the bodies of Meshay Melendez, 27, and Layla Stewart, her daughter, age 7, were found in a wooded area.
Warren had been scheduled for trial but before that happened, COVID hit and in-person trials were suspended for almost two years.
Tadlock talked about delays for COVID, and for other reasons.
She said prosecutors have more than 20 witnesses and prosecutors have to find a week to conduct the trial that works for the state, the defense and the special judge who will hear the case since all the judges here withdrew to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest since Warren’s father is a former attorney.
With murder cases in both Washington State and Pine Bluff, Tadlock and Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter were asked which case will be heard first.
Tadlock told Deltaplex news that aggravated first-degree in Washington State is comparable to capital murder in Arkansas. The difference is that Washington State does not have a death penalty.