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Prosecutor responds to bond reduction request for Wray in Rhoads murder case

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 7:56 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 14, 2021 at 2:57 PM CDT
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HARRISBURG, Ark. (KAIT) - A prosecutor said in court papers Wednesday that a $1 million cash-only bond set for a man accused of capital murder was found to be appropriate and should be kept as is.

Poinsett County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Martin Lilly said in a three-page court filing that the bond for Cameron Wray was needed and that the bond should not be modified.

“While the Plaintiff submits that the Defendant has been a resident of Northeast Arkansas for a substantial period of years and has strong family ties to the community, the Defendant’s reputation, character and mental condition are not good,” Lilly said. “Defendant mistakenly claims that the alleged victim in this case is a family member and that the alleged victim does not want to pursue the criminal prosecution of this Defendant. Nothing could be further from the truth, The victim in this matter is deceased. The victim’s family very much wishes to pursue the criminal prosecution of this Defendant and wishes for the Court to leave the bond as is.”

Lilly also questioned other aspects of the defense motion.

“For some reason, the Defendant also alleges that the acts did not involve violence or the threat of violence. The Defendant is charged as an accomplice in a capital murder case. The State can think of nothing more violent than murder,” Lilly said. “Therefore, the Defendant is simply mistaken that his acts did not involve violence or a threat of violence.”

DEFENSE MOTION

An attorney for a Poinsett County man accused of capital murder in the death of a Marked Tree man in 2020 is seeking a bond reduction in the case, according to court records.

The attorney for Cameron Wray, filed the motion July 6 in Poinsett County Circuit Court.

Wray, 19, and Jordan Ratton, 19, also of Marked Tree, were arrested on suspicion of capital murder and aggravated robbery in the death of Mack Rhoads.

On May 12, the sheriff’s office along with Arkansas State Police and the Marked Tree Police...
On May 12, the sheriff’s office along with Arkansas State Police and the Marked Tree Police Department, arrested 19-year-old Jordan Ratton and 18-year-old Cameron Wray, both of Marked Tree, on suspicion of capital murder and aggravated robbery.(Poinsett Co. Sheriff's Office)

Rhoads, who was 87, was discovered in the 100 block of Brigance Street around 9 a.m. April 16, 2020, Arkansas State Police said at the time.

According to the motion, the attorney, Public Defender Ben Bristow, is seeking to reduce bail “to a reasonable amount not based upon punishment for the alleged crimes, but based solely on insuring the Defendant’s presence for further court proceedings and trial.”

Bristow is also asking for the bond reduction due to Wray being a Northeast Arkansas resident for a “substantial period of years,” having strong family ties to the community, “Defendant’s reputation, character and mental condition are good;” and “has no past history of failure to respond to legal process.”

A $1 million cash-only bond was set for Wray and Ratton in the court case.

The motion was not heard during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday in Harrisburg.

Wray is scheduled to go on trial July 19-22 in Poinsett County Circuit Court.

Ratton is scheduled to go on trial Sept. 20-24, with an Aug. 23 pre-trial in Poinsett County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors have waived the death penalty in Ratton’s case.

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