Leader Blues

Monday, September 24, 2007

TOP STORY >>Murder suspect is held in Cabot

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

Cabot police are working their first homicide in more than 16 years after the body of Kevin Wayne Bell, 39, was found in his South First Street home just before 10 p.m. Thursday.

According to Sgt. Dwayne Roper with the criminal investigations division, Bell had been shot five times with a 9-millimeter pistol.

A suspect with a long criminal record, Shawn Kelly Yielding, 36, also of Cabot and an acquaintance of Bell’s, is in custody at the Cabot Detention Facility. The murder weapon has yet to be found.

Yielding is charged with first-degree murder and has a $100,000 bond. He will appear in Lonoke County Circuit Court Tuesday.

This is not Yielding’s first run-in with the law. According to Roper, Yielding was found guilty of second-degree murder in June 2000 in White County and has also had a few misdemeanor charges over the years.

In August 1999, Yielding was arrested for stabbing and killing a man at a Searcy apartment complex after a verbal altercation over $20, the White County prosecuting attorney’s office said. He was initially charged with first-degree murder but plead down to the lesser charge.

He was sentenced to 12 years in the Department of Corrections and was out on parole, the prosecuting attorney’s office said.
The length of time Yielding actually served for that sentence was not known at press time.

During the initial investigation, police learned neighbors had seen a gold Buick leaving the neighborhood earlier in the evening.

“The wife knew the car and the suspect and gave us a few addresses to look at,” Roper said.

Forced entry had been gained into the home through the back door.

“It seems there was not a struggle but rather a surprise entry into the home,” Roper said.

Yielding’s wife called the police, saying he wanted to talk and peacefully turned himself in, but he remains silent on what occurred.

“He has not made a statement yet,” Roper said during a press conference Friday morning.

Bell was an auto paint and body worker and the father of four. His parents lived in Cabot years ago and his father, Jerry Bell, was a local pastor.

“We are investigating this to the fullest,” Mayor Eddie Joe Williams said. “We’ll do our very best to leave no stones unturned.”
“When things like this happen, we do our very best to investigate them and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Williams said.