A young man from Palestine, Texas, accused of attempted capital murder in Miller County, Ark., was taken into custody Tuesday for allegedly committing a violent crime while free on bond.
Chavel Terrell Jemison, 19, is scheduled for trial in August on charges of attempted capital murder, aggravated robbery and commercial burglary in connection with crimes allegedly committed Jan. 9, 2017, in Texarkana, Ark. Last year, Jemison was released after posting a $100,000 bond.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeffery Sams filed a motion Monday to revoke Jemison's bond alleging a May 27 arrest in Palestine for assault. According to a police report attached to Sams' motion, Jemison is accused of being one of five men who rushed into the Lucky Star Grocery convenience store in Palestine and assaulted a male customer.
The customer reported that he did not know the men who assaulted him but they were allegedly identified by other bystanders who were outside the store and saw the men exit and enter. While inside the store, the men allegedly hit the customer in the side of the head with an object suspected of being a pistol. The men allegedly stole cash from the register after walking around the counter where a female clerk was standing.
Jemison posted a $10,000 bond in the assault case pending in Anderson County, Texas. Circuit Judge Carlton Jones revoked Jemison's existing bond in Miller County at Jemison's pretrial hearing Tuesday. Jemison's lawyer, Lee Short of Little Rock, filed a motion prior to the hearing Tuesday asking that Jemison be allowed to remain on bond until a hearing can be conducted. Short was unavailable to appear with Jemison Tuesday.
"We will have a hearing date to your attorney as soon as possible," Jones said.
Jemison is scheduled for a jury trial in August in Miller County. His local charges are somewhat similar to those he now faces in Anderson County.
Jemison and co-defendant LaTerrance Shaquan Traylor, 19, allegedly held a clerk at Circle K convenience store in Texarkana, Ark., at gunpoint Jan. 9, according to a probable cause affidavit used to create the following account.
The clerk told investigators he was "rushed" by two men wearing masks who forced him to one of the store's two cash registers. The assailant holding a pistol, allegedly identified as Jemison, held a gun to the clerk's head while the other held a black leather tote bag into which he ordered the clerk to empty the contents of one of the registers.
When the clerk told the men he didn't have a password to open the second register, the armed man allegedly struck him in the back of his head with the gun. The clerk got down on the floor as the unarmed suspect told the gun-wielding one to shoot the clerk, "at which time the armed suspect attempted to chamber a round."
The clerk reported that "once the suspect had chambered a round, he decided he would attempt to disarm the suspect in order to survive."
The clerk jumped up and punched the man, allegedly Jemison, with the pistol in the face, grabbed the gun and wrestled it away from his attacker. The unarmed man, allegedly Jemison, had already fled the store and the recently disarmed one, allegedly Traylor, followed.
The pistol whipping the clerk received from the armed robber may have saved his life. When Texarkana, Ark., Det. Shane Kirkland examined the gun at the Circle K, he noticed that the base plate from the pistol's magazine was missing. The missing plate, found in the cash register area, caused the gun to malfunction because of a lack of spring pressure to push live rounds into the chamber.
The magazine was loaded with several .380 caliber rounds of full metal jacketed bullets.
"I believe that the armed suspect had intended on loading the weapon and shooting (the clerk) but was unable to make the weapon functional," the affidavit states.
The gun provided investigators with a valuable clue. The pistol's serial number led detectives to First Cash Pawn in Palestine, Texas. The man who bought the gun told detectives he had sold the gun in mid-December to Jemison through a go-between via Facebook for $115. The go-between told investigators he had facilitated the gun sale to Jemison and claimed that Jemison had asked him if he wanted to "hit a lick," a slang phrase for committing a crime, during the first week of January but that the go-between had declined.
Texarkana, Ark., Detective Shane Kirkland recognized the suspects on video surveillance footage from the Circle K as the same men who entered the 71 Express convenience store on State Line Avenue just minutes before the Circle K robbery. The 71 Express clerk told detectives she was sitting in a car having a quick visit with a friend when she saw two men wearing bandanas on their faces enter the store and roam around before grabbing the clerk's wallet from the counter and running out.
Jemison allegedly had a black eye at the time of his arrest and clothing and bandanas matching those worn during the robbery and burglary were allegedly found in Jemison's car.
Jemison and Traylor face ten to 40 years or life in prison if convicted of attempted capital murder and the same possible sentence if convicted of aggravated robbery. The men could receive up to 15 additional years on each offense for using a firearm. Commercial burglary is punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Jemison and Traylor are scheduled to be tried separately in August.