Texarkana, TX 52° View Live Radar Fri H 73° L 55° Sat H 67° L 50° Sun H 60° L 40° Weather Sponsored By:

Program placed murder suspect in county jail

Program placed murder suspect in county jail

January 11th, 2017 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

An Arkansas Department of Corrections inmate accused of beating a female correctional officer to death in the Miller County jail kitchen last month was serving time for shooting his mother and an uncle in 2010.

Tramell Mackenzie Hunter

Tramell Mackenzie Hunter

Tramell Mackenzie Hunter, 27, was being housed at the Miller County jail as part of the Act 309 program, which allows prison inmates to serve some of their sentence at a county or city jail. Hunter is accused of attacking Officer Lisa Mauldin at about 1 p.m., Dec. 18 in the jail's kitchen, according to a probable cause affidavit. Hunter allegedly used his hands to inflict fatal injuries on Mauldin. After incapacitating Mauldin, Hunter was met by Officer Damaris Allen as he tried to leave the kitchen.

"Hunter struck Allen in the face, knocking her to the floor," the affidavit states. "Hunter then struck Allen with her portable radio. Hunter dropped the radio and struck Allen with his fist several times. Hunter then ran out of the kitchen and was apprehended in the hallway by other detention deputies."

Hunter was serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated robbery and two counts of felony domestic battery assessed him Feb. 22, 2011, as part of a plea bargain in Pulaski County, court records show. Case documents acquired Tuesday by the Gazette show that Tramell's convictions stem from a Jan. 27, 2010, confrontation at a relative's home in Little Rock.

Tramell shot his uncle when the uncle tried to stop him from stealing his mother's car and then fired a second shot, striking his mother, before driving away in her rented Dodge Charger, according to case records. Hunter's mother and uncle survived after undergoing surgeries.

Tramell told investigators he intended to kill himself when his funds were exhausted. Tramell reported that he left town and switched the plates on the car after spending a couple of nights in Texarkana before heading to the Houston/Galveston area.

Tramell surrendered Feb. 10, 2010, to police in Galveston, Texas, after running out of money and finding himself unable to commit suicide, records state. A pearl-handled revolver with a defaced serial number Tramell claimed to have used during the shooting of his mother and uncle was recovered from the stolen car.

But Tramell's history of violent behavior did not prevent him from being assigned to Miller County as a 309 work inmate. The 309 program is meant to relieve prison overcrowding, reduce incarceration costs, and assist law enforcement with manpower, thus decreasing local costs, according to an Arkansas Department of Correction administrative directive on the Act 309 Program and ADC's website. The city or county jail is reimbursed for the cost of housing a 309 inmate.

Inmates assigned to local jails as part of the 309 program are typically given more freedom to move about and work than other inmates and are generally considered low-risk. A 309 work inmate is permitted to work outside the prison walls and in the community under the supervision of jail officials. ADC Public Information Officer Solomon Graves said Hunter was in Miller County as a 309 work inmate.

So long as an ADC inmate hasn't had a disciplinary infraction for at least 90 days and has served a minimum of six months in prison, there are few restrictions to admittance to the program. ADC's administrative directive states that only inmates with a conviction for capital murder, first-degree murder, a sexual offense, escape, or who have attempted those offenses are ineligible for the 309 in-jail or work inmate program.

An inmate convicted of kidnapping, a second offense of aggravated robbery or an attempt to commit those offenses is not eligible for 309 work status, according to ADC's administrative directive. According to court records, Hunter's 2011 aggravated robbery conviction was his first and only conviction for that offense.

The local sheriff, police chief or authorized law enforcement officer "may refuse" the assignment of any 309 inmate to their facility, according to the administrative directive.

Hunter was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. However, the case has been rescheduled for a hearing next month. Little Rock lawyer Ron Davis has entered notice that he has been retained to represent Hunter.

Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black said her office, which handles criminal cases in Miller County, has not yet received an investigative file from Arkansas State Police. Hunter's arrest warrant charges him with capital murder and first-degree battery. Black said her office will determine what charges Hunter will face once the investigation is complete.

Hunter is being held in the Varner Supermax Unit of the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

 

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com