2021 Arkansas Domestic Violence Homicides

Note: If you are aware of anyone who needs to be added to this list, please contact Ashley Walker at awalker@domesticpeace.com with any information that you have.

(This list is based on the most recent information available to the public)

Updated 10/5/2022

 

45 Total Deaths to Date:

25 Women, 14 Men, 6 Children

* 24 Intimate Partner Violence

 

Tammie McGehee, James McGehee, Cheyenne Chenoweth

February 24, 2021

Huntsville (Madison County)

Three bodies were found in a home southwest of Huntsville. The victims were Tammie McGehee, James McGehee, and Cheyenne Chenoweth. Hunter Chenoweth confessed to killing his mother, Tammie; stepfather, James; and sister, Cheyenne. Hunter told police he shot his mother after an argument then got in a fight with his sister before stabbing her to death. When McGehee returned home from work Chenoweth also shot and killed his stepfather. Hunter Chenoweth was not at the residents when officers arrived at the scene and discovered the bodies. Later that day, at 10:10 p.m., state troopers saw one of the vehicles Hunter could have been driving and pulled the van over. State troopers arrested Hunter Chenoweth and he confessed to the killings.

Age: 51, 59, 26

 

Akilia Smith

March 4, 2021

Helena-West Helena (Phillips County)

Helena-West Helena Police Department received a call around 10 a.m. of an unwanted person on Navajo Street. When officers arrived, they found a man with a gunshot wound laying in the front yard of the home, upon entering the home they found Akilia Smith. Both were set to be airlifted to a Memphis hospital, Smith was pronounced dead before the flight could take off. Reports state that the man was Smith’s boyfriend, and he kicked the door in to shoot Smith before turning the gun on himself. The name of Smith’s boyfriend and his current condition was not released, but police did say that he could face a first-degree murder charge.

Age: 20’s*

Christina Clay

March 7, 2021

North Little Rock (Pulaski County)

North Little Rock Police Department arrived on scene at Chuck E. Cheese on Landers Road for reports of shots fired. When officers got there, they found Christina Clay on the ground in front of the business doors with multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Upon further investigation, reports state that Clay was at Chuck E. Cheese to help celebrate her girlfriend’s 2-year-old son’s birthday. An argument between Clay and the 2-year-old’s father, Marlon Marbley, Jr., started. Clay exited the building and Marbley followed to continue the argument, Marbley pulled out his weapon and when Clay turned to go back inside, Marbley shot her multiple times. The next day, Marbley was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Age: 32

 

Ronald Calkins & Brandy Patrick

March 9, 2021

Mountain View (Stone County)

Shortly after Stone County Sheriff’s office responded to a call of two shooting death victims, Arkansas State Police were requested to help investigate the homicides. Ronald Calkins and his son’s girlfriend, Brandy Patrick, were found shot to death inside of Ronald’s home off of Chateau Pointe Loop in Mountain View. After investigation, Ronald Calkins’s son, Royce Calkins, was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder. When asked why he shot and killed his father and girlfriend, Royce stated that they “were conspiring against him” and that he had a “broken heart because of what he had to do.” Royce’s bond is set at $500,000 and he is currently awaiting trial.

Ages: 64 & 40*

 

Kayla Keatts

March 17, 2021

Texarkana (Miller County)

Texarkana police officers were dispatched to a report of a woman who had been shot. When officers arrived on scene, they found Kayla Keatts with a gunshot wound. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died. Reports state that upon further investigation of the scene, Keatts appeared to be laying down on the bed with her head on the pillow when she was shot. Keatts’s boyfriend, Jason Stewart, Jr., turned himself in the next day where he was charged with First Degree Murder.

Age: 20*

Tera’Lynn Cantrell

March 17, 2021

Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Little Rock Police Department responded to UAMS Hospital around 2 a.m. after reports stated that a gunshot victim was dropped off and left at the emergency room doors. Cantrell was pregnant with her fifth child at the time of her death. Reports state that this was a domestic violence incident, but no other information was released.

Age: 30*

 

Deborah Lamb

March 24, 2021

Jonesboro (Craighead County)

Police found Jerry and Deborah Lamb dead in their home after a man told investigators he went to check on them and found them with dead with gunshot wounds. The incident report suggested Jerry Lamb shot his wife before shooting and killing himself in a murder-suicide.

Age: 63*

 

Dominic Pullum

March 27, 2021

Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)

On March 27, 2021, Pine Bluff Police Department responded to a home on East 42 Avenue for a possible shooting. When officers arrived on scene, they discovered the body of 15-year-old Dominic Pullum, who was face down in the carport with a gunshot wound in his back. A few moments after officers made the discovery of Pullum’s body his mother, Gwendolyn Spencer, arrived at the house to “tell her side of the story”. Upon further investigation, a 9mm handgun on a road that Spencer said she went down to get help for her son. The handgun’s make and model matched the shell casing found in the laundry room of the home. Spencer was arrested and charged with first-degree murder of Pullum.

Age: 15

 

Richard Wood

April 6, 2021

Paris (Logan County)

On April 6, 2021, an investigation of an apparent murder-suicide was happening, just a few houses down from the police chief’s home in Paris. Reports state that officers arrived on scene to fin the bodies of Richard Wood and his son, Jacob Wood. It is believed that Jacob shot and killed his father before turning the gun on himself. 

Age: 55

 

Jessica Chavez

April 9, 2021

Fort Smith (Sebastian County)

Fort Smith Police Department arrived at a home on Brazil Avenue in reference to a shooting at 6:15 a.m. on April 9th. Officers found Jessica Chavez in her bedroom, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Police arrested and charged Ervin Eduardo Nafate Ruiz as the suspect, he had been dating Jessica Chavez for over a year and they had a child together. Jessica’s sister Myda described him as very abusive and said he had threatened Jessica with guns before.

Age: 32*

 

Paiden Priest and Grayson Alexander Beckham

April 22, 2021

Van Buren (Crawford County)

Police received a 911 call about gunshots at a duplex on Williams Street. Officers responded and found Paiden Priest, Grayson Beckham, and David Priest with gunshot wounds. The suspect, David Priest, was initially the sole survivor but he died at the hospital later. A neighbor told police that he heard arguing before he heard the gunshots. Paiden Priest was in her third trimester of pregnancy and Grayson Beckham, her son, was 2 years old. After shooting both his wife Paiden, and his stepson Grayson, David shot himself in a murder-suicide.

Age: 23* & 2

 

Kenneth Alexander

Magnolia (Columbia County)

April 26, 2021

Magnolia Police Department responded to West Calhoun Street around 4:00 a.m. to a possible stabbing. When officers arrived on scene, they found Kenneth Alexander stabbed multiple times, after many lifesaving attempts by first responders, Alexander died. Investigators identified Tony Griffin Jr., Alexander’s half-brother, as a suspect and he was taken into custody on manslaughter charges. Reports state that Griffin was on parole for a 2017 conviction of first-degree battery on Alexander where Griffin stabbed Alexander.

Age: 29

Sheila Jones-Courtney

April 23, 2021

El Dorado (Union County)

El Dorado Police responded to an initial call about a welfare concern. When officers arrived at a business on Main Street, the owner Chris Jones told police that his stepfather, Robert Courtney had rushed inside with a large handgun and forced his mother, Sheila Jones-Courtney, out of the building and into her car, a Dodge Challenger. Jones ordered Sheila in the driver’s seat and to drive away. From that, multiple law enforcement agencies set out to check known addresses of Jones. After searching those addresses a call came over the radio that a home on Wingfield Lake Road was on fire, it is believed that Jones set the fire in order to distract law enforcement. Moments later, Ashley County Sheriff’s deputies spotted the Challenger and initiated pursuit, and Arkansas State Police assisted with the traffic stop. Robert Jones was taken into custody. Once at the Arkansas Department of Corrections, he told Union County Sheriff’s deputies that he did kill her (Sheila) and he would take them where her body was. Later that evening, Union County investigators located Sheila’s body from a wooded area near the Arkansas-Louisiana state line. Robert faces felony charges of capital murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault on a family or household member, commercial burglary, felony with a firearm and interference with emergency communications.

Age: 50*

 

Mary Simmons & Mark Simmons

May 1, 2021

Huntsville (Madison County)

Madison County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home just south of Huntsville to a report of a shooting. When deputies arrived on scene they found Richard Simmons Jr., still alive. Upon further search of the home, they found Mark Simmons and Mary Simmons shot to death. Richard was taken to an area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. During the investigation of what happened it is believed that Richard Simmons, his wife Mary, his brother, Mark, and Richard and Mary’s son, Samuel, all lived at the residence. Investigators believe that Samuel shot Richard, Mary, and Mark before fleeing the home. Arkansas State Police apprehended Samuel and he was charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted capital murder.

Ages: 65 & 66

Ernest Jackson

May 25, 2021

Texarkana (Miller County)

On May 17, 2021, Texarkana Police Department responded to Ernest Jackson’s apartment to assist in having his girlfriend, Mahogany Palmer removed because their relationship was ending. Days later, the police department responded to a welfare check at Jackson’s apartment because no one had heard from him since May 19th. Once officers got to Jackson’s apartment, they found that an employee of the apartment complex had found him in the stairwell shot to death. Reports state that Palmer shot and killed Jackson, robbed his apartment, and stole his truck. Palmer was arrested and ultimately convicted of capital murder and burglary for a 60-year total sentence not to be served consecutively.

Age: 40*

 

Amber Dunigan

May 28, 2021

Fayetteville (Washington County)

Arkansas State Police responded to a call of a woman who was shot in a car. When officers arrived on scene, they made contact with Jason Dunigan. He stated that he had met his wife, Amber Dunigan there earlier because he was having car troubles after that he left and drove back to their home. Awhile later he “became concerned” because she didn’t arrive back home. He said he called her but was unable to get to her so he called his parents who drove him out where he had last seen her and when they arrived they found her dead. During investigations they found a small piece of neon green fabric that is believed to match one of Jason’s work shirts. Police believe he used the shirt to muffle the sound of a gunshot, Jason was also found to have been having an affair with their roommate and was annoyed that Amber’s life insurance company was holding off on paying out her $300,000 life insurance police. After months of investigations, Jason was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Age: 36*

 

Trisha Carnley

June 20, 2021

Texarkana (Miller County)

Family members were unable to reach Trisha Carnley between the evening of June 20 and the morning of June 22, so they contacted the Miller County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office took a missing person’s report and then forced entry into her residence and discovered Trisha Carnley dead on the bedroom floor. Curtis Carnley, Trisha’s husband, had a history of abusive behavior and the gun used to murder Trisha was a gun he used. Curtis Carnley was charged with the murder.

Age: 44*

Rebekah Reynolds & Harley Clark

June 24, 2021

Monticello (Drew County)

According to Monticello Police Department investigators, Manuel Dominguez entered his home that he shared with his wife, Grace Clark Dominguez, and stepson Harley Clark. When Manuel entered the home, he started shooting. It is believed that Harley jumped up and grabbed another gun that was in the house and shot Manuel to protect his mother and pregnant fiancé, Rebekah Reynolds, who was also in the home at the time. When officers arrived on scene, they found all four people suffering from gunshot wounds, all were transported to area hospitals. Grace sustained non-life-threatening injuries, Manuel died at the scene, Harley died on the way to the hospital, and a few days later, Rebekah succumbed to her injuries.

Ages: 19 & 21

 

Hayward Lucas

July 5, 2021

Camden (Ouachita County)

Camden Police Department was called to the Ouachita County Emergency Room where, Sherika Holliman brought in her boyfriend, Hayward Lucas, with a stab wound to his chest. When questioned, Holliman denied any involvement, but evidence collected, including a domestic altercation history, showed otherwise. Lucas died at the hospital and Holliman was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Age: 43*

 

Joshua Olscwa

July 7, 2021

Cabot (Pulaski County)

Pulaski County deputies responded to a call about a shooting on Mundo Road in Cabot, when they arrived on scene they found Joshua Olscwa, dead from gunshot wounds. Olscwa’s girlfriend, Brandy Copeland was on scene and taken in for questioning where she stated that she shot Olscwa and dumped the gun in the woods. Copeland was subsequently arrested and charged with first degree murder and possession of firearm by certain persons.

Age: 34*

Stephanie Lininger

July 16, 2021

Hot Springs (Garland County)

Hot Springs Police Department responded to a home on Rocky Reef Circle around 6 a.m. for a possible shooting. When they arrived on scene, they found the bodies of Stephanie Lininger and her husband, Angel Valentin shot to death. Upon investigation, it is believed that Valentin shot Lininger and then turned the gun on himself resulting in a murder-suicide.

Age: 46*

 

Mekale Martin

July 17, 2021

Pine Bluff (Jefferson County)

Pine Bluff Police Department responded to an incident in a parking lot on Belmoor Avenue around 4 p.m., when they arrived on scene, they found a man holding down another man, Kyron Martin, and two gunshot victims, Cynthia Kimble, and her other son, Mekale Martin. Kimble is also Kyron’s mother. Investigations concluded that an argument ensued between Mekale and his brother Kyron, when Kyron pulled a weapon out and shot Mekale. Kimble was struck by a bullet in her left hand trying to break up the fight. Mekale died on scene. Kyron was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Age: 21

 

Bengie Cooper

July 31, 2021

Texarkana (Miller County)

Texarkana Police Department reports that at the Creekside Apartments around 1:15p.m. on July 29, 2021, that shots were fired. When officers arrived on scene, they found multiple gunshot victims. Reports state that Tremayne Ware pulled up in his vehicle to his wife, Bengie Cooper, and another woman who had her 4-year-old daughter with her. Ware shot the other woman in the back and then turned to Cooper. Cooper tripped over the curb and fell to the parking lot where Ware proceeded to shoot her once in the head. Cooper died at the hospital 2 days later. Ware was arrested later that day by Texarkana police and was ultimately charged and convicted of murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment. Ware is serving three life sentences.

Age: 56*

Brenda Strickland

August 5, 2021

Marion (Crittenden County)

Brenda Strickland was killed at the Comfort Inn in Marion, where she worked. Charles Edward Walker was charged with her murder. Walker had a history of domestic abuse and Strickland’s family state that he was very abusive towards her. Walker turned himself in where he was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

Age: 54*

 

Pamela Varnell

August 6, 2021

Bald Knob (White County)

White County Sheriff’s office received a 911 call stating that a stabbing had just taken place inside of a residence on South Wallace Road. When deputies arrived on scene, they found William Varnell suffering from multiple stab wounds and his wife, Pamela Varnell, dead also from multiple stab wounds. Investigators arrested the couple’s son, Jacob Varnell, for capital murder of his mother, Pamela, and attempted capital murder of his father, William.

Age:65

 

Shunterris Salter & Jamichael Petty

September 16, 2021

Little Rock (Pulaski County)

Little Rock Police Department responded to Nichols Road for a shooting in progress after Shunterris Salter’s mother, Sherita Salter, could not get her on the phone. When Sherita got to her daughter’s home around 3 p.m., she found the door open with her daughter and grandson, Jamichael Petty, shot and killed inside. During the investigation, Shunterris’ estranged boyfriend, Malcolm Ester, was identified as a suspect. When questioned, detectives said that Ester told them he had gone to Salter’s home and gotten into an argument with her which then turned violent. Ester then admitted to shooting Salter twice in the head while 8-year-old Jamichael was saying “No! Don’t do it Malcom.” At that point Ester told Jamichael, “I’m sorry,” before turning the weapon on him. Ester was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder.

Ages: 32* & 8

James Wilmans

October 11, 2021

Mountain Home (Baxter County)

Just before 6 a.m. Baxter County Sheriff’s Office got a call on from a woman stating that she shot her husband and then shot herself. When deputies arrived on scene, they found the bodies of James Wilmans and his wife, the caller, Marcy Wilmans, both with apparent gunshot wounds. Investigators believe the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide.

Age: 52*

 

Nakina Gilmer-Brown and Austin Brown

October 12, 2021

Marion (Crittenden County)

Around 9:30 am Tuesday morning, Officers found Gabriel Brown, Nakina Gilmer-Brown, and Austin Brown dead in their home on St. Germaine Boulevard. The police said that when Gabriel came home, he shot Austin and Nakima before shooting himself. The officers were dispatched to conduct a welfare check and two minors told the police they heard gunshots coming from the house before the police entered.

Age: 43* & 5

 

Julie Moore & Christofer “Cason” Conner

October 16, 2021

Fort Smith (Sebastian County)

Fort Smith Police Department received a call around 6 a.m. from a caller saying they heard screaming and yelling coming from a home nearby. When officers arrived on scene they found, Christopher Conner attacking his son, Cason Conner, with a brick in the front yard. When the officer intervened to get Conner off Cason and in the process of placing Conner in handcuffs, Conner then proceeded to stab the officer. The officer then shot and killed Conner. Upon further investigation in the home, they found Cason’s mother, Julie Moore, stabbed to death. Cason was transported to an area hospital where he later died from multiple stab wounds.

Age: 42* & 15

 

Karen McFarland

Benton (Saline County)

October 21, 2021

Saline County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a woman who asked to do a welfare check on her coworker and friend, Karen McFarland. When deputies arrived and tried to make contact, they got no response. A BOLO was then issued for Karen and her car. A few days later, they located Karen’s boyfriend, Lonnie Crigger, in Karen’s car. Upon further investigation they found Karen’s body on her property and Crigger was arrested and charged with first degree murder, possession of a firearm by a certain persons and aggravated robbery.

Age: 47*

 

Joe Clayton

October 31, 2021

Helena-West Helena (Phillips County)

Helena-West Helena Police Department responded to a disturbance at a home on Georgia Street where they found Joe Clayton, lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died from his injuries. Upon investigation, Howard Tate, Clayton’s brother in-law, was identified as the murder suspect from video evidence. Tate was ultimately arrested and charged with second degree murder.

Age: 48

 

Richard Brotherton

November 10, 2021

Holiday Island (Carroll County)

Carroll County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a home on Apache Drive in Holiday Island for reports of a man down. When deputies arrived, they found Richard Brotherton with multiple stab wounds to his head and neck. Richard was pronounced dead on the scene. Richard’s son, Gabriel Brotherton was still on scene. When investigators talked with Gabriel, he told them that he and his father had been in an argument, and he stabbed Richard with a black-handled knife and then placed the knife in his bedroom. Investigators also noted that they have been out to the address with the father and son multiple times for domestic related incidents. Gabriel was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

Age:50

Kelsey Bunch

November 20, 2021

Cave City (Sharp County)

Deputies were called around 9:25 p.m. about a domestic disturbance on 115 Grange Road. Officers responded and found both Kelsey Bunch and Jonathan Bunch with gunshot wounds to the head, and the department began investigating it as a murder-suicide. Jonathan Bunch shot and killed Kelsey Bunch before killing himself.

Age: 32*

 

Sabrina Benson

November 21, 2021

Jonesboro (Craighead County)

Jonesboro Police responded to an unresponsive person on Clover Drive, discovering Sabrina Benson. She was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. The autopsy revealed Sabrina died of strangulation. Shadrack Ward, her fiancé, admitted to strangling her after they got into a verbal altercation after a party.

Age: 42*

 

Hatcher Webb

December 17, 2021

Hot Springs (Garland County)

Officers responded to a call about an unresponsive infant. The infant, Hatcher Webb, was pronounced dead later that night at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Subsequently, the Arkansas State Crime Lab ruled the child’s death a homicide. Cody Webb, the child’s father, was charged with capital murder after he “picked up and rocked Hatcher forcefully”.

Age: 5 months

 

Lane Williams

December 24, 2021

Rogers (Benton County)

Rogers Police Department responded to West Gum Street at 10:30 p.m. where they found two dead bodies. The two occupants were a 25-year-old man, Lane Williams, and a 21-year-old woman, Guadalupe Lopez. The pair were in a relationship and lived in the home together. It is believed by officers that it was a murder-suicide and that Lopez shot and killed Williams with a handgun before shooting and killing herself.

Age: 25*