Suspect arrested, gun recovered following alleged assault

Suspect arrested, gun recovered following alleged assault
Johnny Lee James (Source: Craighead County Sheriff's Department via Vinelink)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A K9 officer helped police locate a handgun that had allegedly been used in a fight over money. The alleged suspect is now behind bars on a $50,000 bond.

Around noon on Saturday, Jonesboro dispatch advised a man had pulled a handgun at University Market, 1715 E. Johnson Ave.

Sgt. Andy Thrasher with the University Police Department responded to help locate the man, who was described as a black male, wearing a red had, black tee shirt, and red pants. Dispatch advised the man was last seen walking toward an apartment complex on State Street.

Sgt. Thrasher went to the area and spotted a man wearing a red hat walking toward the apartments.

"As he approached the subject he observed the clothing description also matched," a probable cause affidavit states.

The man was later identified as Johnny Lee James.

"Sgt. Thrasher observed the suspect throw an item into the woods just south of the apartment complex," court documents state. "Sgt. Thrasher ordered James to the ground at gun point and took him into custody without further incident."

Court documents state James told Sgt. Thrasher he hadn't thrown anything into the woods.

PFC. Dustin Smith of JPD and his K9 partner Rico later arrived and searched the woods.

"A short while later K9 Rico located the firearm," the probable cause affidavit states. "Sgt. Thrasher observed the left side of the firearm was still covered in James' sweat."

Court documents state the gun, a PT111 G2, was loaded with a bullet in the chamber and a magazine with 10 additional rounds.

When police told James they found the gun, he allegedly admitted it was his, but denied pointing it at anyone.

The victim told officers that James owed him money, and following a verbal altercation, James allegedly pulled out the gun.

"Video of the incident was recovered from the incident location, however, James is standing just out of view of the camera," court documents state.

James was transported to the Craighead County Detention Center, where he was held until a probable cause hearing Monday.

A judge found probable cause to charge him with felony aggravated assault, felony tampering with physical evidence/obstruction of prosecution, and a misdemeanor count of carrying a weapon.

James will appear in court again on Sept. 29.

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