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Trial begins for second murder suspect

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

A jury trial gets underway in Pulaski County Circuit Court this morning for the second man charged in connection with a murder in the Parrott community in September 2012.

According to court records, three days have been set aside for the trial of 22-year-old Matthew Earnest Arnold, who is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and arson in connection with the death of 50-year-old Stephen Harrison Bane.

Arnold’s co-defendant, 42-year-old Roland Keith “Ron” Wilson Jr., was convicted by a jury in November of second-degree murder and was acquitted of the conspiracy charge. He was sentenced earlier this month to the jury-recommended maximum of 40 years in prison for his part in Bane’s death.

According to testimony in Wilson’s trial, Bane’s body was found in a vacant home on Creek Road Sept. 27, 2012, two days after his throat was cut with a broken beer bottle.

Authorities also charged both defendants with arson for allegedly setting fire to Bane’s residence the day of Bane’s death. Prosecutors chose not to prosecute the arson charge against Wilson, but Arnold’s arson charge was still listed as active as of The Southwest Times’ deadline Wednesday morning.

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