Howard Dallas Short II has been charged with first-degree murder in the August death of Michael Wayne Robb.
The charge was filed Wednesday in Faulkner County Circuit Court by Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland.
An affidavit said Short confessed to the murder during an Aug. 8 interview with investigators. The confession came after Short was "properly advised of his rights and affirming that he understood those rights," the affidavit states.
Robb, 64, was found dead in his home, located at 27 Wilson Road near Greenbrier, Aug. 6 by Faulkner County Sheriff’s deputies. Authorities were responding to Robb’s residence after he was reported missing by his sister. Robb’s sister told authorities she had not talked to her brother since July 15, and no one had seen him since July 31.
Authorities believe Robb died several days before being found. Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock said death by natural causes had been ruled out.
During the sheriff’s office investigation, deputies learned of activity on Robb’s bank account after he was reported missing, and also discovered his truck missing.
An off-duty Atkins police officer located the truck at a McDonald’s, along with Short and April Cullum, 25, the night of Aug. 6. Atkins police officers were able to apprehend Cullum, but Short escaped in a vehicle.
Short proceeded to lead multiple agencies on a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 40, which began in Pope County and continued through Faulkner County before it ended in Pulaski County near Crystal Hill Road in North Little Rock.
Prior to Wednesday’s murder charge, Short had only been charged with fleeing, a class D felony, in connection with investigation.
Court documents show no current charges against Cullum.
Short pleaded guilty Monday to three charges from two prior cases involving stolen checks, including one case which listed Robb as the victim.
Short entered the pleas, on two felony counts of forgery and one misdemeanor count of theft of property, before Faulkner County Circuit Court Judge Mike Maggio.
Short was sentenced to nine years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and received a five-year suspended sentence. Court documents show Short will receive 56 days of jail credit for time already spent awaiting trial.
In both cases, which are to have occurred in 2012, the victims reported having checks missing after Short was at their residence. The victims said the checks were later used at various stores, or to obtain cash.
Before entering the guilty pleas, Short was seen in the courtroom talking, laughing and smiling with other inmates. Short was also seen talking and smiling with a courtroom audience member, who was asked to leave by a bailiff.
Short was also one of several inmates that Maggio asked to stop talking during court proceedings.
Short’s murder charge was filed in a separate case, which will also be held in Maggio’s court, to his fleeing charge. Court documents show no arraignment date for the murder charge, although he has a pretrial hearing Oct. 7, pertaining to his fleeing charge.
If convicted of first-degree murder, a class Y felony, Short would face 10-40 years or life in prison.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at https://twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)