State & Region


The Miller County prosecuting attorney says Arkansas won’t seek the death penalty for a man charged in a fatal November shooting at a Texarkana apartment complex.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that 28-year-old Justin Johnson is charged with capital murder in the death of 22-year-old Trevon Staten. Johnson was arrested in April.

Authorities say Staten opened an apartment door for someone he knew. A probable cause affidavit says the man who knocked on the door didn’t enter the apartment, but several masked men, one of whom investigators believe was Johnson, entered the apartment while shooting.

Johnson’s attorney, Bill McClean, told a judge Tuesday that he and prosecutors didn’t have some relevant documents from authorities.


A Pulaski County juvenile court judge has been subpoenaed to answer questions about her alleged refusal to give priority to relatives in the placement of children who are in state custody.

Circuit judge Patricia James was subpoenaed by the Joint Performance Review Committee on Tuesday.

Former Children and Family Services Division director Cecile Blucker told the committee in March that James almost always sent children into foster care or group homes. State law requires that family members be given placement preference.

James has previously told the newspaper that it’s in the child’s best interest if family members were thoroughly vetted first. Investigators currently have 72 hours to petition the court for a child’s placement, which James said is not nearly enough time.


Authorities say one person was killed when a single-engine airplane crashed into a hangar at the Bentonville Municipal Airport in northwest Arkansas.

Bentonville Police Department spokesman Gene Page says the 1983 Beechcraft Bonanza crashed Wednesday morning, apparently during takeoff. Page says the plane crashed into a hangar at the municipal airport, and the pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

Page says no one else was on board the plane and no one was injured on the ground. He says the victim is an adult male but authorities won’t release his name until relatives are notified.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford says initial reports indicate that the pilot may have lifted the nose of the airplane early to avoid another aircraft that had taxied onto the runway.


• LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas and federal officials have extended an agreement for a research center that’s aimed at enhancing regulatory science.

Compiled from wire reports