TEXARKANA, Ark. — Bail has been set at $500,000 for both defendants facing capital murder charges for a fatal shooting Feb. 3 at a local apartment complex.
Phillip Lee, 23, was allegedly in possession of $3,000 to $4,000 in cash prior to his death, according to a probable cause affidavit. Robbery is believed to be the motive for the killing, which has resulted in capital murder arrests for Keanu White, 23, and Jucquian Tyson, 22.
Texarkana, Arkansas, police were called to the Village Park South Apartments on East Street shortly before noon Feb. 3. Lee was found on the ground outside his apartment with gunshot wounds to his chest, side and wrist. He was pronounced dead that evening at a local hospital.
Using video surveillance, police quickly identified a silver Lincoln Town Car as possibly being involved in the crime. The car's owner was found and interviewed and determined not to have been in possession of the car at the time of the shooting.
The Lincoln's owner allegedly traded cars with Tyson and White about 9 a.m. Feb. 3 at the Sandflat Center. The Lincoln's owner took possession of a black and white Crown Victoria, an old police car, and White and Tyson allegedly drove away in the Lincoln.
Sometime after noon Feb. 3, White and Tyson allegedly returned the Lincoln to its owner during a meeting at Sunset Apartments. The Lincoln's owner allegedly told police Tyson "seemed off" and was listening to a police scanner app on his cellphone.
The Lincoln's owner allegedly told investigators he hid the car at his mother's home after hearing via the police scanner app that authorities were on the lookout for it.
Tyson and White appeared Wednesday afternoon for initial court appearances before Miller County District Judge Wren Autrey, who set bail for both men at $500,000. Court records and Gazette archives show Tyson and White have been co-defendants before.
In 2017, Tyson, White and Lee were charged, along with a fourth man, in the burglary of a local pawn shop. The charges were ultimately dismissed. In 2016, White and Tyson were charged in connection with car thefts in Texarkana, Arkansas.
White is serving a five-year term of felony probation for residential burglary and theft of a firearm in Miller County. He pleaded guilty to the charges in October, court records show. Officials are likely to file a motion to revoke his probation in light of his capital murder arrest.
At the time of his arrest in Lee's death, Tyson was free on a $100,000 bond posted in a pending robbery case in Miller County. Records show Tyson made a court appearance in that case Feb. 4, the day after Lee's murder. Officials are likely to file a motion to revoke his bond in the robbery case in light of the latest arrest.
If found guilty of capital murder in Lee's death, White and Tyson face life without the possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.
Both are being held in the Miller County jail.