Five teens in last month charged with capital or attempted capital murder in Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
A 15 year-old and 18 year-old are the first to be charged in a series of three homicides that occurred Sunday in the Capital City. The teens join several other kids ages 18 and under that have taken up residence inside the Pulaski County Detention Center within the last month.
The case involving Kevin Williams, 15, and Ramale Collier, 18, is very similar to another case involving juveniles almost a year ago to the day. Williams and Collier are with capital murder, accused of robbing and shooting Eunice Lopez, 27, while she had her two-year old daughter in her arms.
Lopez's death on Keats Drive on Sunday is similar to the case of then 16 year-old Tyveen Davis - another botched armed robbery. Allegedly Davis and two others arranged to buy a gun from a person off of Facebook. During the exchange, one of the suspects shot and killed Angel Gonzales, 30, the man who was selling the gun.
"You've got to take a stand against the wanton waste of human life," said Larry Jegley, Sixth Judicial Prosecuting Attorney when he was interviewed on the same topic a year ago.
Jegley said not much has changed in the last year - the same amount of kids are getting involved in violence.
Williams and Collier join three others, ages 18 and under, that are awaiting trial on attempted capital murder charges all stemming from the month of January.
Joshua Williams, 17, was allegedly involved in an attempted armed robbery at Red Lobster in Little Rock back on January 17. The robbery attempt ended in an off-duty police officer shot - the officer working security detail at the restaurant.
According to police, Tyrone Randolph, 16, was behind the shotgun that injured the bank manager at the Bank of America branch on Cantrell Road. It was later determined that Jasha Howard, 18, was allegedly Randolph's accomplice in the crime.
Three days a week, Walter Woods works with kids inside of Ray Rodgers Golden Gloves Boxing Club - the goal for Woods is to keep many of the kids he's coaching from ending up in jail.
"This is a good outlet to let off some aggressions - emotions, feelings," said Woods.
Coach Walt says grades improve, attitudes as well - something he attributes to discipline involved in boxing. But Woods says discipline and peer pressure don't always co-exist.
"They think their friends are having more fun, so they leave the gym and make a big mistake," said Woods.
Despite programs like the ones Ray Rodgers provides to at-risk kids, teens are still being charged with major crimes. Prosecutor Jegley said however, he'd be scared to think what the city would look like if programs like after-school boxing didn't exist.