Through his attorney, a man awaiting a jury trial for a murder charge has filed a petition to the Arkansas Supreme Court involving his bond.
William James, legal counsel for Terrance Hughes, filed the petition on Nov. 25.
Hughes claims that on Dec. 2, 2019, he was charged with capital murder in Hot Spring County. He was arrested on Dec. 21, 2019 and held with “no bond.”
Earlier this year, updated felony information was filed charging Hughes with first-degree murder, and he filed a motion for bond.
A hearing was held on May 12, 2020, and the motion was denied, according to the petition.
“Hughes is currently being held on charges in the above styled case without bond in violation of Arkansas law,” according to the petition. “Hughes is not charged with a capital offense. Accordingly, he is entitled to have a reasonable bail set. The trial court abused its discretion by refusing to set a reasonable bond.”
Hot Spring County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Howell said this filing will be addressed by the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.
Hughes is one of five defendants charged in connection with an incident that took place on Nov. 27, 2019.
Other individuals charged include Duante Weaver, Korwan Keith, Dale Buckley and Charles George.
During the incident, the individuals allegedly entered another person’s home on Edwards Street in Malvern.
A victim was shot during the alleged burglary and later died at Baptist Medical Center, according to court documents.
Two of the defendants, Keith and George, have both pleaded guilty.
Keith and George have been sentenced to 15 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with two of the 15 years being suspended.
As part of their plea agreements they “will cooperate with the state of Arkansas and testify truthfully in any proceeding and/ or any prosecution of any defendant charged in the homicide of (the victim) as a condition of the plea,” according to court documents.
Last month, the Arkansas Supreme Court suspended all jury trials until Jan. 15, 2021, due to COVID-19 concerns.
“The Arkansas Supreme Court does not take lightly the decision to halt jury trials. It weighs on this court that we are exposing the hundreds of citizen jurors around the state who are being summoned to do their civic duty, as well as, our court personnel’s risk of daily exposure to the virus. The dramatic uptick in cases in Akansas requires us, as leaders of the state judiciary, to do our part to help protect Arkansans,” according to the per curiam orders.