Leader Blues

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TOP STORY >>Gunshots killed suspect, coroner’s report says

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Bryant Cross, 18, of McAlmont, whose body was found Oct. 23 behind a Sherwood home on Highway 107, died of gunshot wounds in the upper torso, according to a report released by the Pulaski County coroner.

Cross’ body was found in a creek about 12 hours after he and LaMarcus Dunn, 18, of North Little Rock, supposedly tried to burglarize the home.

The homeowner, Larry Staley, shot at the burglars as they attempted to gain entry about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. Sherwood police arrived on scene about the same time, receiving a call from Staley’s wife. Police, along with canine, searched the area where the two suspects were last seen and found nothing.

Staley’s wife found Cross about 1 p.m. that day.

Cross was shot twice—once in the upper torso and once in the elbow, according to information released by the coroner.
The coroner has sent his findings and evidence to the Arkansas Crime Lab. The lab will try to determine if Staley shot Cross. Authorities have confiscated all of Staley’s guns for comparison purposes.

Also, Officer Ryan Baker, with the Sherwood Police Department, said his department has completed its investigation of the attempted burglary and shooting and has turned over their information to the prosecuting attorney to determine if any charges will be filed against Staley and if additional charges will be filed against Dunn.

Sherwood police have already charged Dunn with criminal trespass (a Class C misdemeanor) and attempted theft of property (a Class C felony).

Bond was set at $1,870, which Dunn has posted.

Staley admits to shooting at the suspects, but didn’t know if he had hit one. He also told the police that he shot in a direction different than where the body was found.

The attempted break-in was the fifth time in about 18 months the Staleys have been burglars’ targets. It’s also the second time Staley fired at would-be thieves.

This latest incident has caused the Staleys to put the 3.5-acre property up for sale.

“We just don’t feel safe here anymore,” Staley said.