FOX16 Investigates: Growing concerns of LR justice system after warning signs possibly overlooked

Crime

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There’s growing concern that warning signs may have been overlooked after two teenagers were accused in the deadly shooting of a 10-year-old girl at a Little Rock park.

Police believe 10-year-old Ja’Aliyah Huges was caught in the crossfire Saturday at Boyle Park.
Ladarius Burnett and Eric Hall Jr. are in jail, both face a capital murder charge in connection to the shooting.

Hall has been at the center of several of our recent investigations, where we found loopholes in state records and the court system, which may have helped him slip through the cracks.

In January 2020, at 16-years-old, Hall was accused of shooting Daevian Marbley and Kierra Watson at an apartment complex off Napa Valley Drive in West Little Rock. Both victims were injured, one critically.

That led to our investigation which exposed how Hall’s name was kept off Vine. It’s a state-run database that lets victims of violent crimes follow their accused attacker through the courts.

As it turned out, the state admitted to us that juveniles being tried as adults could slip through the cracks.

That became a bigger concern when Hall made bail and days later threatened the victims and their families, even posting on Instagram the person who, “told on me should’ve died.”

“We feel like of course, the system has failed,” said a source who knows the victims. Their identity is being kept hidden out of concerns for their safety. “You never know what he’s capable of doing.”

How Hall got out of jail was part of another one of our investigations. Last November we uncovered how COVID-19 created a loophole in courts by giving accused violent offenders a chance at freedom.

We found Hall used the pandemic to get a lower bond. Then when he was arrested for threatening the victims and their families, his bond was set at $100,000, which he made the same day.

“Some judges have put off jury trials for some length of time and that makes it more difficult to hold people,” said Executive Director of Arkansas’s Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission, David Sachar.

Hours after the park shooting Hall posted his wanted poster on Instagram writing, “I’m innocent,” something he’ll now have to prove in court.

We checked court records and found Burnett was out on bond in connection to two separate shootings last year.

Burnett’s most recent bond was set at $20,000. When he made bail, he was put on house arrest and ordered to wear an ankle monitor, both orders prosecutors say he kept violating. It was to the point that last month prosecutors asked for a new arrest warrant, which never ended up getting answered by the judge.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories