Teen sentenced to 28 years in Jonesboro murder

Thomas Joe Hunter (Source: Jonesboro Police Department)
Thomas Joe Hunter (Source: Jonesboro Police Department)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT/AP) – A teenager charged with capital murder has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Thomas Joe Hunter who was 16-years-old at the time of the incident was sentenced on March 15. Craighead County Circuit Court Judge Cindy Thyer delayed the sentencing so family members of both the victim and the defendant could be present.

According to the Craighead County Prosecutor's Office, Thomas Joe Hunter pled guilty to first degree murder on March 11th.

According to the Jonesboro Police Department, Hunter shot and killed 30-year-old Kenny Brown on the night of July 24 during a struggle.

During an interview with JPD, Hunter told police he went to an apartment on West Monroe Street that night to rob Brown of money from a dice game he was playing. Hunter told police he needed the money to put minutes on his cell phone.

The shooting took place around 9pm on July 24 in Apartment C at 1007 West Monroe Street. When police arrived at the home they found Kenny O. Brown dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the head.

Witnesses told police a black male fired a shot through the door of the apartment and then came into the room demanding money while pointing a gun. Witnesses say the suspect was wearing a hat and a red bandana over his face.

People inside the apartment say Brown and his brother tried to disarm Hunter, when Brown was shot in the head.

Witnesses told police the suspect was Hunter and they were able to find him a short while later.

Police say evidence of a dice game and money were found at the scene, along with a black handgun just outside the apartment.

Hunter is charged as an adult with capital murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated residential robbery.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.