Investigators: Suspect in Fatal Little Rock Hit & Run Involved in Drug Deal

(Update: 8:00 p.m.)

LITTLE ROCK, AR – The suspect involved in Wednesday’s night hit-and-run that killed Heather Cater was a suspect in a drug transaction. 

The incident report states that Pulaski County Sheriff’s Narcotics investigators observed the transaction at Walgreens on S. University. Investigators seized one of the suspects who had 19.5 grams of marijuana.

Investigators attempted to obtain the other suspect, Denonte Jones, 18, who was driving a black SUV.  Jones backed up the vehicle and left the area. 

Investigators saw the black Tahoe hit Cater. 

Jones was arrested Thursday and faces 4 felony charges: Capitol Murder, Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Death, Delivery of a Controlled Substance and fleeing. 

His court date was scheduled for Oct. 21.

(Update, 6:15 p.m.):
LITTLE ROCK, AR - According to the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office Deonte Jones has been arrested in the fatal hit & run case that killed 22-year-old Heather Cater in the lot of the Walgreens store at S. University Ave. and Colonel Glenn Road on Wednesday night.

(Update, 5:30 p.m.):
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Warrants for Capital Murder have been issued for Deonte Jones, the driver of the Tahoe that fled the scene after he struck and killed 22-year-old Heather Cater, of Traskwood in the lot of the Walgreens store at S. University Ave. and Colonel Glenn Road on Wednesday night.

Update (1:00 p.m.):

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) is shedding more light on a deadly hit and run that claimed the life of a Traskwood woman.

According to a PCSO report released this afternoon, the occupants of a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe were making narcotics transactions in the Walgreens parking lot at Colonel Glenn and S. University Wednesday night as investigators with a PCSO narcotics unit watched.

The investigators had called for a marked patrol unit which arrived on the scene just as the investigators were approaching the vehicle, the report said. When the driver of the Tahoe backed out of a parking space and started to drive away, the marked patrol unit tried to stop them. The fleeing driver continued on into an adjoining parking lot where it hit Heather Cater, 22.

The report states that deputies in the marked patrol unit stopped to help the woman.

PCSO spokesman Lt. Carl Minden says the agency is leading the investigation. He is not yet commenting on whether or not there is any available surveillance video of the incident, but says PCSO patrol cars are not equipped with dashboard cameras.

Original story (11:00 a.m.):
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A young woman has died after a hit and run on the city's southwest side.

It happened Wednesday night just after 6 on the parking lot of a store near the intersection of S. University Ave. and Colonel Glenn Road.

The victim is identified as Heather Cater, 22, of Traskwood (Saline County).

Police say Cater had just gotten off work from Rock City Smiles, a dental clinic, and was in the parking lot with co-workers when a driver in a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe flew through the parking lot while trying to get away from plainclothes deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office. There's no word yet on why they were chasing the unidentified driver, who had at least one passenger in the vehicle with him.

Cater died after being taken to St. Vincent, according to police.

The Little Rock Police Department says it learned the SUV involved in the chase was reported stolen right about the time the hit and run happened. The owner who had called police told them her nephew had been driving the vehicle when it was taken.

Police say the driver kept going after hitting the woman. The SUV then hit two parked cars before the driver jumped out and ran away from the scene.

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