By Ray King
A 20-year-old Pine Bluff man arrested Monday will be held without bond pending the filing of murder charges against him.
Following a court hearing Wednesday, Jefferson County District Judge Kim Bridgforth ruled prosecutors have probable cause to charge Jamonte Washington with capital murder in the death of Jeremy Thompson, who was found in a parked vehicle on June 20 and taken to Jefferson Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Reading from a probable cause affidavit from Detective Tamina Smith, Deputy Prosecutor Beth Carson said on May 20, police were sent to Village Green Apartments on South Olive Street after dispatch received numerous calls about multiple gunshots in the area. When police arrived, they were flagged down by two men who said they had heard a vehicle leave the area at a high rate of speed.
During a search of the area, officers found 7.62 rifle shell casings on the roadway on 45th Avenue and more in a grassy area and a white Nissan with bullet holes on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Thompson, had a Glock nine-millimeter handgun in his lap with one round in the chamber and a round missing from the clip.
Another call sent police to the hospital where they found Washington who had been shot. He said he had been walking toward his cousin’s on 38th Avenue when he heard shots and fell. He said he didn’t se a vehicle and didn’t know who shot him. He said he flagged down an unknown person who took him to the hospital.
Carson reported that officers searched the area where Washington said he had been shot and found no blood or spent shell casings.
Video from the apartments showed two men running up to the Nissan and firing shots and the victim returning fire, possibly hitting one of the two men. During a search, police found blood on several leaves west of where the victim was located and the leaves and other evidence were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for analysis.
Witnesses had told police they saw a dark colored vehicle flee from the area of the shooting and video from the hospital showed Washington arriving in a dark colored vehicle and running inside. Carson said he was shot in the stomach and arm and refused medical treatment. Before he left the hospital, his DNA was obtained.
On June 24, the Crime Laboratory confirmed that blood on the leaves matched that of Washington and several attempts were made to locate him but were unsuccessful. A BOLO (Be On The Lookout) was put out and on Monday Washington contacted police and agreed to speak with them.
After being read his rights, Washington again said he had been walking on 38th Avenue when he was shot and didn’t know who shot him. He denied being at the Village Green Apartments.
Detectives noticed that Washington had arrived at the police station in a dark colored vehicle and when the owner was contacted, said Washington had borrowed the vehicle on the night of the shooting and when he brought it back, there was blood in it but the owner said they had cleaned out the blood.
Washington said he would hire his own attorney.