Charges filed against murder suspect

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

POINSETT COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A Nashville man was shot and killed late Saturday night at 16110 Hinds Lane near the St. Francis River near Steven's Landing, according to the Poinsett County Sheriff's Office. Police said Billy Seth Tucker, 30, Nashville, AR, was found lying in the road when deputies responded to a "shots fired" call. Police said Tommy Jake Spray, 65, Trumann, shot and killed Tucker after some sort of dispute. Police have not yet released a motive and the investigation is ongoing.

"When the deputies arrived, they discovered a male lying, in fact, in the road, Hinds Lane," said Sheriff Larry Mills.

Mills told Region 8 News Monday afternoon Spray has been charged with one count of 2nd degree murder. He's currently being held in the Poinsett County Detention Center on $10,000 bond. If convicted, Spray could be sentenced to several years in jail.

"Based on the evidence that they found at the scene and the interviews that they conducted, they took one person into custody," said Mills.

According to police, the Poinsett County Sheriff's Office responded to the call shortly before midnight Saturday. Police found the victim with a gunshot wound to the chest. Tucker was dead on arrival.

"The body has been sent to the medical examiner's office in Little Rock. Hopefully in a few days, we should receive some preliminary report from the medical examiner's office," said Mills.

The sheriff's office requested the help of Arkansas State Police, Trumann Police and Marked Tree Police to secure the crime scene. After questioning, police arrested Spray.

"It was a very serious call. They requested our assistance. 2 of my officers from Trumann did respond and they assisted the sheriff's office and the responding deputy until they could get the situation under control," said Tony Rusher, Police Chief of the Trumann Police Department.

According to Rusher, his officers were on scene minutes after the request from Poinsett County.

"With the nature of the call, they were requesting assistance, which is a general procedure, practice. We always try to assist the sheriff's office any time they need it," said Rusher.

Saturday's shooting was the first Poinsett County authorities have worked this year, and the first homicide investigation the office has conducted in a while.

"They're still conducting interviews as we speak. There's probably going to be, you know, when you talk to one individual, they may say 'you know, well, someone else was there and they left about an hour before this happened'. At this point, what we try to do is we take every lead that we can possibly gather and we try to run those down and trace those," said Mills.

"In these high profile cases, and that's what this is considered, a major case, we'll sit down, several officers, Arkansas State Police, sheriff's office, prosecutor's office and we will take a look at everything we've done to this point," said Mills.

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