Paragould Murder Creates an Uproar

PARAGOULD, AR -- The only suspect in a Paragould homicide goes before a judge Monday. Many of the victim's family and friends were in court to hear his charges.

The suspect, 30 year old Heath Banks, appeared before a judge today to hear he would be staying in jail without bond. In his hearing, the judge found probable cause to charge him with capital murder and aggravated assault.

The front lawn of the Greene County Courthouse was full of people this afternoon, people who say the town of Paragould is losing its peace. 28 year old Jason Clinton was shot and killed Saturday night and now the only man being charged with his death is behind bars.

"Which one of us will be next? Is he going to miss an adult and hit a child? We have a lot of children in our homes and our neighborhoods," says Verna Dowler, a concerned Paragould resident.

Several witnesses were at the scene when the shooting occurred. Many of those witnesses stood as protesters in front of the Greene County Courthouse Monday afternoon awaiting 30 year old Heath Banks' first court appearance following the murder. Their biggest concern seems to be what they call the unsafe neighborhoods in Paragould and keeping Banks in jail.

"Too much, we've had enough. Paragould used to be peaceful. We can't even let our kids go to the park anymore," says Dowler.

The protesters claimed that this murder is just proof that their town is taking a turn for the worst. The tensions ran high as the family and friends waited to hear from the district judge. They wanted to know whether or not Banks would stay in jail without a bond.

"He pulled a gun out at my house a couple of weeks ago, so I can't say anymore. I don't want him bonded out. I have a four year old I worry about. We want to bring peace back to Paragould. We're tired of the child molesters, the rapers, and the murderers. We want our peace back," says another concerned resident.

Banks is set to appear in Circuit Court for his charges on August 29th.