A 21-year-old man suspected of shooting at a Conway woman following a road rage incident last month pleaded not guilty Monday in Faulkner County Circuit Court.
Cornelius Byrd is charged with a terroristic act, a Class B felony that carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison, following a shooting at Centennial Valley Apartments on March 21.
Byrd, who appeared alongside his attorney Vandell Bland Sr. in Faulkner County Circuit Court on Monday, pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned charge.
Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. also set a June pretrial in Byrd's case on Monday.
Byrd is suspected of shooting at a vehicle at the apartment complex following a road rage incident that began at the Walmart on Skyline Drive.
According to probable cause affidavit, the victim was leaving the Walmart on Skyline Drive when she almost backed into a silver Sedan. When the driver of the sedan honked at her, she pulled into the parking space and let the vehicle pass before leaving the parking lot.
“She pulled forward and let them pass, then fell in behind them,” the affidavit reads. ”[The woman] reported that she was now going to go to Walmart on Dave Ward and as she signaled her turns, the vehicle would turn the direction she was signaling.”
Eventually, the silver car brake checked her, “forcing her to pull into the driveway of The Links Apartments.”
After avoiding a collision with the silver car by turning into the apartment complex, the woman told authorities she was then chased down by Byrd in a black Ford Mustang.
“She was then blocked in for a moment but was able to back up quickly and get back on Irby [Drive] headed west,” the affidavit reads. “She stated she was passing vehicles to get away and realized that the silver car and the black Ford Mustang [were] following her.”
The woman said the suspect, later identified as Byrd, followed her from The Links and pulled out a gun when she got to the parking lot of Centennial Valley Apartments Phase II on Hogan Lane and began firing several rounds at her.
Along with firing his pistol at her, the victim also told authorities the man threatened to kill her before fleeing the scene.
“The driver yelled that he was going to kill her before getting back into the Mustang and leaving the scene,” the woman said in her statement.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Byrd immediately went back to The Links and called police to make a hit and run report.
According to the driver of the silver sedan, the woman, who was driving a silver Chevrolet Trailblazer, had followed him to The Links and began cussing him before leaving the apartments.
“He said that the female driver stated cussing at him and then back[ed] up quickly to leave, hitting his friend’s Mustang,” the affidavit reads. “He said that he followed her vehicle then to get the license plate for a hit-and-run report. He said that once he got the plate, he headed back to his apartment and as he was leaving he heard gunshots.”
After the driver of the sedan made it back to The Links, he said it took about 10 minutes for Byrd to meet back up with him to get the woman’s license plate number.
Byrd, who has been released from the county jail on a $2,500 bond, is set to appear next at 9 a.m. June 7 for a pretrial hearing in Faulkner County Circuit Court regarding the aforementioned case.