Conway police arrested a suspect in the Sept. 9 shooting death of 66-year-old Robert Lee Givens.
Givens was shot to death around 1 a.m. Friday near Donaghey Avenue and Independence Street after meeting his daughter in the area to fix a flat tire on her vehicle. He was driving his daughter back to her vehicle after purchasing tools at Wal-Mart when a sports utility vehicle behind them began flashing its headlights. Witnesses said a black male was driving the tan-colored SUV with a white woman in the passenger seat.
Givens pulled over and exchanged words with the SUV driver, according to police. The daughter reportedly told police the man told her father something to the effect of "I thought you were someone else."
Givens started to pull away from the stop when the SUV pulled up beside him and the driver shot him once.
Shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday, the Conway Police Department responded to the Holiday Inn Express after getting a 911 call that a man was beating a woman in one of the rooms, according to a police report.
When they arrived, they found a woman with a swollen left cheek and left ear who "was crying and her hands were shaking," the report stated. The report didn’t indicate the woman was the passenger from the SUV the night of the shooting, but it does say she told police that a friend rented her the room "to hide her away from" Sammie Thomas Jr.
It goes on to say that the woman told them Thomas said he was "very angry" and that she "was going to die today for talking to the police."
Thomas, 38, of Conway was charged with capital murder, third-degree domestic battery with the purpose of injury, first-degree false imprisonment with the risk of injury and possession of firearms by certain persons.
He is being held without bond in the Faulkner County Detention Center.
CPD Chief Jody Spradlin said in a statement: "When dealing with a case of this magnitude, teamwork is essential. Our department is fortunate that everyone from patrol officers who are the first on scene, to the detectives who investigate further, understand the importance of working toward the end goal, which is always to help bring justice to victims."
Thomas’s court date was not immediately available.
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