Salesville man facing murder charge after shooting death in Norfork

Johnnie Carl Baker (Baxter County Sheriff's Office)
Johnnie Carl Baker (Baxter County Sheriff's Office)

NORFORK, AR (KAIT) - A Baxter County man will face a murder charge in a shooting death that occurred in November.

According to Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery, Johnnie Carl Baker of Salesville, AR has been charged with second degree murder in the death of Dennis Franklin Chapman also of Salesville.

The sheriff says Baker shot Chapman in the face on November 12 at 29 Major Street in Norfork.

Investigators say Baker told them the shooting was accidental and the gun went off on its own.  He said he did not recall having his finger on the trigger.    Baker also told them he was trying to shoot a bottle out of the hand of Chapman with a Marlin 30/30 lever action rifle.

However during the course of the investigation, Sheriff Montgomery states the type of rifle used "must be manually manipulated in order for it to fire".  The sheriff says Baker had loaded the rifle the day before the shooting and that pointing the gun at Chapman "demonstrated an extreme indifference to the value of human life".

Sheriff's investigators, Arkansas State Police and Norfork Police presented sufficient evidence to the prosecuting attorney which led to the filing of the murder charge.  Baker was arrested Thursday and is in the Baxter County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond.

He will appear in court on December 13.

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