SEARCY, AR. – Two men charged with capital murder in the death of a Searcy man made their first court appearance Friday afternoon in White County.
The White County Prosecutor's Office also upgraded the charges against 20-year-old Ross Wood, who was arrested on October 26
and identified by many as a friend of Mitchell, from aggravated robbery to capital murder.
Officials from the Searcy Police Department have made two arrests connection to the October 23 murder of Zachary Mitchell
Maurice Andre Alexander, Jr., 20, was arrested in Searcy and Devonte Tre Nelson, 19, was arrested in Lenexa, Kansas by the Lenexa Police Department on an unrelated charge of burglary. Alexander and Nelson were questioned by detectives from the Searcy Police Department and were subsequently arrested for capital murder.
According to an arrest affidavit released Friday afternoon, Wood admitted he conspired with three other men to rob and steal money from Mitchell.
The affidavit from Searcy Police detective Scott Thomas reads: "Wood stated he lured Mitchell to the area behind J.C. Penney in Searcy by telling him that he knew a man from whom they could buy a quantity of prescription Oxycontin. Wood stated that this was simply a ruse to get Mitchell to accompany him to that area."
The affidavit says Wood rode in Mitchell's truck to the location when the three men he had conspired with approached them with handguns.
"The men demanded money. Wood stated Mitchell denied the demand for money. A struggle ensued and one of the armed men struck Mitchell in the face with a handgun," the affidavit reads. "Wood stated that Mitchell then sped off in the truck leaving the two armed men behind."
Later in the evening, Wood says the three men came to his house and said they followed Mitchell to where he worked. Wood says they asked him to join them and "go finish this."
In the affidavit Wood stated that one of the men was saying things like, "That big country ****** thinks he's hard...we'll see how hard he is."
Wood says a short time later he heard what sounded like a single gunshot. According to the affidavit returned to the scene with his girlfriend where they discovered Mitchell dead.
Nelson is being held in Kansas with no bond and is awaiting extradition back to Arkansas.
White County circuit judge Craig Hannah ordered both Wood and Alexander held without bond after their brief hearing.
Wood has a next court date of December 6.
A fourth, as of yet, unnamed suspect is being sought as well.