TEXARKANA, Ark. — A Texarkana man entered pleas of not guilty Tuesday in Miller County to charges of kidnapping and terroristic threatening that allegedly began with an agreement to repair a car.
Roy Donedward Burks, 32, was arrested by Texarkana, Ark., police the night of July 17 in the parking lot of a convenience store and gas station on State Line Avenue. Burks allegedly held two men against their wills after threatening their lives.
Police were first called to the parking lot of Denny's restaurant in Texarkana, Ark., that night shortly before 9 p.m. A man told them he had located his missing BMW in the parking lot of the Travelodge motel next door and asked for officer's help in getting it back, according to a probable cause affidavit.
In the parking lot of the motel, officers noted a blue-green BMW in the parking lot. The car's owner explained to police that he had left the car with Burks for rewiring of the tail lights July 13. Burks was allegedly supposed to return the car that day after making the repair but did not.
Burks allegedly met the car's owner the afternoon of July 14 at the OYO motel in Texarkana, Ark., and told him the car also needed a part replaced in the transmission. The car's owner told officers he agreed to leave the car with Burks again July 14 with the expectation Burks would return the car to him July 15 at Cleo's Furniture Store on State Line Avenue where the car's owner worked.
Burks allegedly never showed with the car July 15 and the owner's many phone calls to him went unanswered. When the owner and TAPD officers approached the car July 17 in the Travel Lodge parking lot, they noted it was occupied by a woman and packed to capacity with someone's personal belongings.
The woman claimed she did not know to whom the car belonged and asked if she could move the items in the car into her motel room. TAPD officers removed a fictitious license plate from the car and the owner was permitted to drive it away.
A short time later, TAPD officers received word of a 911 call from the father of the car's owner. The father stated that his son was being held hostage at gunpoint in the parking lot of Cleo's. When officers responded to the furniture store, they found the BMW but neither Burks nor the car's owner was there.
Police contacted the owner via his cellphone. The owner provided nonsensical answers to an officer's questions and replied, "yes," and gave officers his location at RaceWay convenience store. When TAPD officers arrived at RaceWay, they observed the same SUV the owner of the BMW had been driving when they first met with him in the Denny's parking lot. The owner of both cars was seated in the driver's seat and Burks was seated in the passenger seat. A friend of the car's owner was seated in the back.
After officers took Burks into custody, the car's owner and his friend told police they had gone to Fun Wash in the owner's SUV after parking the BMW at Cleo's. The owner said he was putting his laundry into the back of the SUV while speaking to his father on the phone when he was shoved into the car from behind by Burks. Burks allegedly threw the owner's cellphone to the pavement, cracking the screen.
The men told police that Burks allegedly held what appeared to be a pistol in his hand, leading them to comply with his demands.
The owner and his friend told police that upon learning that his belongings had been removed from the BMW and stowed in the woman's hotel room, Burks allegedly demanded that the car's owner take him back to the Travelodge. On the way, the owner stopped for gas at RaceWay and police intervened.
The owner and his friend said that they believed Burks had a gun. A search of the SUV's front passenger side revealed a box cutter knife beneath the seat. The men said the knife appeared to be a pistol because of the manner with which Burks held it and the way he stored it in the waistband of his pants.
The two alleged victims reported that as police were ordering Burks to put his hands outside the window of the SUV, Burks was warning them against saying anything that would get him in trouble.
Burks allegedly told the men he would come back for them, they "didn't know the reach he has" and allegedly said he "has no problem taking a body."
Burks appeared Tuesday for arraignment before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson and entered pleas of not guilty with the help of a public defender. Johnson set the case for trial Feb. 24.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell is handling the case for the state.
She signed off last week on two counts of kidnapping and two counts of terroristic threatening. If convicted, each of the kidnapping charges is punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison. The terroristic threatening charges would be punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000, if convicted.
Burks is being held in the Miller County jail with bail set at $100,000.