Murder Suspect Arraigned in Paragould

July 10, 2006--Posted at 4:30 p.m. CDT

PARAGOULD, AR--An argument over inexpensive jewelry may have been the cause of two murders in Region 8.

The suspect being held for Paragould's first and second murders of the year was in a Greene County courtroom Monday morning. Paragould Police received a call Sunday around 3 a.m. that three people had been shot in a house on North Pruitt. According to police, the argument stemmed from an item valued at less than $10.

"It was a dispute over some jewelry," said Special Agent Scott Pillow of the Arkansas State Police.

According to police, the altercation started at a local bar over a cheap piece of jewelry and ended several hours later at 608 North Pruitt, leaving two dead and sending another to the hospital.

"When officers arrived they made contact with a lady named Thelma Rowe. She had indeed sustained a gunshot wound. She indicated to officers that she had been in a residence on North Pruitt with two other individuals that had been shot and she didn't believe they were alive," said Pillow.

Inside the house police found two adults with gunshot wounds. Jimmy Livesay, 35, was dead on the scene, his mother Edith Fancher, 60, was transported to the Med in Memphis but later died.  The third victim, Thelma Rowe, was taken by ambulance to Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould with non-life threatening injuries.

Police arrested Billy James Smith, 33, of Paragould around 7:00 a.m. Sunday and charged him with a list of crimes.

"Two counts of capitol murder, one count of criminal intent to commit capitol murder, one count of burglary and one count of theft of property," said Pillow.

Smith is being held in the Greene County Detention Center without bond for crimes that if convicted, will have serious consequences.

"He is charged with two Class "Y" felonies, which capitol murder in the state of Arkansas carries with it the death penalty or life in prison," said Pillow.

Authorities say this is an ongoing investigation, however they are not looking for any other suspects. Smith's next court appearance is scheduled for August 28th.