Case against Jonesboro murder suspect closed due to "insufficien - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Case against Jonesboro murder suspect closed due to "insufficient evidence"

Mario Stafford (Source: Jonesboro Police Department) Mario Stafford (Source: Jonesboro Police Department)
Jonesboro, December 2015 (Source: KAIT) Jonesboro, December 2015 (Source: KAIT)
Jonesboro, December 2015 (Source: KAIT) Jonesboro, December 2015 (Source: KAIT)

A man who faced charges in the death of a Jonesboro woman is out of jail after prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Region 8 News has obtained court records on the Kayla Vinson murder investigation.

Vinson was shot and killed during a home invasion in Jonesboro in December 2015. Another man was also injured in the shooting.

One of the original suspects, Mario Stafford, was due to go to trial on Monday.

However, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Grant DeProw filed a motion to nolle prosequi in Craighead County Circuit Court.

According to, nolle prosequi is Latin for "we shall not prosecute."

In the motion, DeProw said there was "insufficient evidence on which to proceed with trial of this case."

He said there were 3 surviving witnesses of the shooting but after nearly two years "all such witnesses claim not [to] have seen the events described or are unable to identify the assailants."

DeProw said other witness statements given to police were "inadmissible hearsay or have been disavowed by the original declarants."

The state's main witness is currently in prison. According to the court document, the unidentified witness told Jonesboro police that Stafford confessed to his participation in Vinson's murder. However, DeProw said the witnesses refused to testify or planned to exercise their Fifth Amendment rights.

Second Judicial Circuit Court Judge Cindy Thyer approved the request on Aug. 16, the same day the motion was filed. Stafford was released on a recognizance bond that day as well.

DeProw told Region 8 News on Thursday that the second suspect originally arrested was never officially charged in the case.

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