The state in brief

Man charged with fleeing after shooting

LITTLE ROCK — A 25-year-old man was arrested after a shooting Sunday night at a southwest Little Rock bar in which a 26-year-old man was injured, police said.

Authur Palos-Bahena was booked at the Pulaski County jail on a fleeing charge after officers said he ignored orders to get on the ground and tried to run away, a police report said.

Officers heard gunshots upon arriving shortly before 11:30 p.m. at Pit Stop Bar-B-Que Grill at Baseline Road, the report said.

Police reportedly saw Palos-Bahena running east on Baseline Road, and people in a crowd shouted, “It was him, he shot him,” according to the report.

Officers told Palos-Bahena to stop running and get on the ground, but he changed direction and ran in front of a patrol car, the report said. Officers arrested him in a nearby alley, the report said.

Officers and paramedics treated the shooting victim, the report said. The Little Rock man was transported to Baptist Health Medical Center, where he was in stable condition, according to the report.

Police also noted in the report that a white Dodge Ram left the scene “at a high rate of speed” when officers arrived. Palos-Bahena owns the pick up, police said.


Man pleads to indecency with child

TEXARKANA — A 24-year-old required to register as a sex offender because of a crime he committed as a juvenile pleaded guilty Tuesday to indecency with a child and failing to register as a sex offender.

Devonta Vashun Smith appeared last week before 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison to enter pleas of guilty to indecency with a child by exposure and violating sex offender registration reporting requirements.

Smith was sentenced to eight years in prison on each count.

Smith was arrested in July 2019 after he was found at the Texarkana Public Library in the company of a 14-year-old girl reported as a runaway, according to a probable cause affidavit. Smith provided a Texarkana, Texas, address different from the one on file with the sex offender registry.

Smith denied any inappropriate contact with the girl , but he admitted to misconduct later.

“With every new explanation, he would hang his head, have a solemn appearance, and state, ‘I’m going to tell you the truth,’” the affidavit states.

Smith told investigators he and the girl had stayed together at an abandoned house and while there, inappropriate contact between them occurred.


Art gallery tries again amidst pandemic

HOT SPRINGS — The owner of Blue Waters Fine Art & Design hopes the “third time is the charm” after once again reopening her gallery in a new location after being forced to move due to covid-19.

Laura Blue Waters said 430 Valley St. in Hot Springs is the gallery’s third location in two years, noting that she refused to let the gallery close its doors, because “I never want to give up on my dream.”

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Waters said the crowds disappeared from downtown and the empty sidewalks reminded her of a post-apocalyptic movie. The lack of customers made it impossible to sustain the gallery there.

“Covid-19 killed my business downtown,” Waters said, but noted the old saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”

The new location is in a building Waters knows well, since Lee Fields, her husband, has his company, Tri-Lakes Ornamental Iron, there. She already had two art studios in the building. While she enjoyed being downtown, Waters said the new site will be permanent.

“I get to work next door to my husband,” she said.

The gallery currently has five artists — Waters, Tri-Lakes Ornamental Iron, Sara Henry, Tansill Stough and Corina Fedorowicz. She said the work by Tri-Lakes is done by her nephew, Russell Fields. The art in the gallery ranges from forged iron to porcelain to abstract paintings and ceramics.


Sex offender pleads not guilty

TEXARKANA — A man required to register as a sex offender pleaded not guilty in federal court for allegedly moving from Texarkana, Texas, to Texarkana, Ark., without notifying either city’s police department.

Terry Edward Doolittle Jr., 43, appeared on video for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas. Doolittle also appeared for an initial appearance on a motion to revoke supervised release involving an earlier conviction for failing to register as a sex offender.

Doolittle has been in and out of federal and state prisons since being convicted in Syracuse, N.Y., in January 2008 of a sex crime involving a 13-year-old. The additional time behind bars stems from repeated violations of sex-offender reporting requirements.

At a 2016 hearing in federal court in Texarkana, Ark., Harrelson said Doolittle is “doing life on the installment plan.”

In 2017 Doolittle was charged in Miller County circuit court with failing to register as a sex offender. At around the same time, federal officials took action to address that allegation as a violation of his supervised release.

Doolittle pleaded guilty in Miller County and was sentenced Aug. 14, 2017, to three years in the Arkansas Department of Correction. In December of the same year, U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey ordered Doolittle to serve 12 months in federal prison for violating his supervised release and ordered he serve the time consecutively to the time he was serving in state court.

Doolittle was released from federal prison April 14. He allegedly told federal officials he was living with his father in Texarkana, Texas, and was instructed to register as a sex offender with that city’s police department. A federal probation officer was told by Doolittle’s father April 30 that Doolittle was living in Texarkana, Ark.


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