Bonds were set Friday at $1 million each for two El Dorado men, one the son of a city alderman, who are accused of first-degree murder and other felony charges in connection to a fatal shooting that left one man dead Sunday.
Dameon S. Westbrook, 29, of 112 N. Lee, who was injured in the shooting, and Zachary C. McGhee, 20, of 314 S. Park, both appeared Wednesday in 35th Judicial District Court on charges of first-degree murder for their alleged roles in the death of 35-year-old Darris C. Davis of Little Rock.
Westbrook and McGhee each face additional charges of possession of a firearm by certain persons, committing a felony with a firearm, penalty enhancement for committing an offense in the presence of a child and parole violation.
McGhee was also charged with first-degree battery and possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
Westbrook faces two counts of committing a terroristic act.
The men were arrested on warrants after investigators with the El Dorado Police Department determined they were involved in the shooting that occurred in the area of Stuart and Elm.
An arrest warrant for first-degree murder has been issued for another El Dorado man, Ira L. Baker, 25, who is the suspected shooter in the incident.
Officers were called to the scene at approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday in reference to shots fired.
Upon arrival, they found Davis lying on the ground in front of the residence at 212 Stuart. He was approximately 20 to 30 feet from the residence, police said.
Davis sustained a gunshot wound to the face. He was later pronounced dead. His body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for an autopsy.
Police said they expect a preliminary report from the crime lab by the end of the week.
Westbrook was struck in the thigh in the incident He was treated and released from the Medical Center of South Arkansas.
The same night, Westbrook was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of hindering apprehension and prosecution in relation to the shooting.
Investigators said he had made statements to other officers and hospital staff indicating that he had seen the suspect “running away.”
“He was taken into custody due to his failure to cooperate, not telling investigators what he witnessed,” said Capt. Kevin Holt, public information officer of the EPD.
Westbrook was released on a citation to appear in district court for the misdemeanor charge.
Holt said additional arrest warrants and charges were forthcoming for Baker and others who are believed to have been involved in the incident.
Westbrook was subsequently taken into custody on a warrant that listed the more serious charges.
He was arrested without incident Tuesday at a residence in the 400 block of Louise.
McGhee surrendered himself to police the same day.
Police said they passed a black Chevrolet Avalanche while en route to the scene of the shooting, noting they had not yet received information about a suspect or a suspect vehicle.
Some witnesses initially told police that the suspect was inside the Stuart Avenue residence. Other witnesses said he had left the scene in the Avalanche.
Police said no one was inside the residence when they searched it, and they are still trying to determine if Baker was inside the Avalanche when it left the scene.
El Dorado City Council Member Willie McGhee, father of Zachary McGhee, confirmed that the Avalanche belonged to his son and that his son was on the scene visiting someone when the incident occurred.
Willie McGhee said he and his family have cooperated with police in the investigation.
“We’ve done everything they’ve asked us. They wanted to search the truck. We let them search the truck, and we took Zach up there to turn himself in,” McGhee said.
Police have not verified rumors that the incident stemmed from a parking dispute.
Holt could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Westbrook and Zachary McGhee remained in the Union County Jail on Wednesday night lieu of a bond.
If they are released on bond, they are to abide by a daily curfew of 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. They were also ordered not to have any contact with any of the parties involved in the case.
During his first appearance hearing in district court Wednesday, Westbrook was determined indigent and will be appointed a public defender.
Zachary McGhee said he had planned to hire his own attorney.
Police are still looking for Baker, who is described as a black male with a dark complexion, 6 feet, 1 inch tall and 200 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Witnesses told police the shooter had dreadlocks.
Anyone with information on Baker’s whereabouts is urged to call EPD investigators at 870-881-4810 or Crime Stoppers at 870-863-4636 (INFO).
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.