A Little Rock man was sentenced to serve a seven-year prison sentence Monday for his involvement in holding a Conway couple at gunpoint in 2017.
Howard “Byshop” Earl Farmer III was formally charged in December 2017 with a kidnapping, aggravated robbery, fleeing, battery and burglary charges after he and a Conway man allegedly forced themselves into a residence along Blaney Hill Road on Sept. 15, 2017, and held a local couple at gunpoint until the two left with with them.
On Monday, Farmer pleaded “no contest” to his alleged involvement in the matter and was ultimately ordered to serve seven years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. The Little Rock man entered a “no contest” plea to one of the robbery counts filed against him. Online records show all other charges were dropped in exchange for the plea.
While a no-contest plea is not technically a guilty plea, it carries the same fundamental consequences as a guilty plea.
Jonathan Terril Morris also faces charges following the September 2017 incident.
The case against the two began after one of the alleged victims called 911 on the day in question “stating he and his girlfriend … were forced into a vehicles at gunpoint” and that “he was able to escape from the vehicle in which he was being held,” according to a felony probable cause affidavit.
The Conway couple had met up with the two suspects on the day in question because Morris owed him money, according to the victims’ statements. The two met up with the suspects at the Fox Run Apartments in Conway when Farmer allegedly began “pistol whipping (the male victim)” immediately as he walked up before proceeding to “put him in a headlock.”
The man told police “Farmer squeezed so tightly that he kept passing out.”
The man’s girlfriend also recalled him passing out during the attack.
“She specifically noted that (her boyfriend) was hit several times with a pistol by both individuals,” detective Andrew Johnson wrote in the affidavit. “She also noted that (her boyfriend) was obviously unconscious at one point as Farmer was dragging him around the building. She stated it was obvious by the fact that (her boyfriend’s) arms and legs were hanging limp as he was being moved.”
According to the affidavit, Morris kidnapped the male victim and Farmer was accused of driving off in a separate vehicle with the woman.
The woman’s boyfriend told authorities he was able to escape when Morris stopped at Hess Gas Station, where he immediately called 911.
According to the affidavit, the woman said the suspects were “geeked up” during the incident and that the two wanted “money or anything they could get.”
The woman also told authorities that Farmer held her at gunpoint and forced her to drive to her house. While there, the Little Rock man allegedly threatened to kill her. After she “proved to him that she did not have anything of value to him in her house,” the two left the home.
As the two were driving along Blaney Hill Road, a Conway officer spotted the woman’s vehicle and alerted other officers in the area. The two were flagged down by another officer along Friendship Road and, according to the report, as soon as the woman stopped the vehicle, Farmer jumped out of the vehicle and fled the scene.
When police caught up to Farmer, he was “engaged with his cell phone, stating he was ‘live’ of Facebook,” the affidavit states.
Morris is currently scheduled to stand trial in November for his alleged involvement in the aforementioned case. The now-29-year-old is scheduled to appear next on Aug. 13 in Faulkner County Circuit Court for a pretrial hearing, with a two-day jury trial set to begin Nov. 4.