By Ray King
Formal charges have been filed against a Pine Bluff man accused in the shooting death of another man May 20.
Prosecuting Attorney S. Kyle Hunter has charged Ja’Monte Washington, 20, with capital murder stemming from the death of Jyrimee Thompson, who was found inside a vehicle on the parking lot of Village Green Apartments at 4321 S. Olive St., after officers were sent there in reference to gunshots in the area.
Washington will be held at the adult detention center with no bond.
Detective Tamina Smith reported that one of the officers on the scene saw a handgun in Thompson’s lap with bullets inside an extended magazine and the first bullet in the magazine projectile was missing from the shell casing. Thompson was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center and later died.
Around the same time, Washington showed up at the hospital with a gunshot wound and said he was walking to his brother’s house on East 38th Avenue when he heard numerous gunshots and said he did not see who was shooting. He said he fell and after he got up, flagged down a vehicle that took him to the hospital.
Detectives and officers searched the area where Washington said he had been walking and found no blood or shell casings where Washington said they should be.
Video footage from Village Green Apartments showed the victim pulling into a parking space when two people ran up and started shooting at him from the south side of the building. He returned fire, possibly hitting one of the two because officers found fresh and wet blood stains at the scene where a car was parked. A witness told police they saw a dark colored passenger car leave the scene at a high rate of speed.
Evidence collected at the scene included a couple of leaves that were about 50 feet west of the victim. They were sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory along with Washington’s DNA which police obtained after serving a search warrant on Washington at the hospital before he left on his own after refusing treatment.
Video from the hospital showed Washington getting out of a dark-colored car and running into the hospital with an unknown male. The unknown male then ran out, got in the vehicle and left. Washington received a gunshot wound to the side of his stomach and to his arm.
On June 24, the State Crime Labor verified that the blood found on the leaves at the scene of the homicide was a positive match for Washington.
After police issued a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) for Washington, he came to the Detective Office June 29 and told the same story that he had earlier about walking on East 38th Avenue and being shot. He denied being at the Village Green Apartments the night he was shot and could not explain why his blood was at the scene.
Smith reported that she noticed that the car that brought Washington to the hospital looked like the same one that brought him to the hospital. The owner of the car was contacted and said Washington was driving the car the night he was shot and said there was blood in the vehicle from where he had driven it to the hospital but said she had cleaned it out.
Washington said he would hire his own attorney.