TEXARKANA, Ark. — A man and woman from Magnolia, Arkansas, have been formally charged with capital murder by Miller County prosecutors in connection with a fatal shooting on Linden Street in late February.
Damien Damon Butler, 25, and Cierra Nicole Gentry, 33, are accused of killing Devonta Biddle, 24, while stealing a large quantity of marijuana from Biddle's brother's house Feb. 27, according to a probable cause affidavit. Documents filed this week formally charging the two allege Biddle's murder occurred in the course of a residential burglary.
Biddle was found shortly before 9 p.m. Feb. 27 by TAPD officers responding to a call about a shooting and possible home invasion in the 1200 block of Linden Street, according to earlier reports.
When they arrived, officers found Biddle deceased from an apparent gunshot wound.
Butler and Gentry show the same residential address on Burnt Bridge Road in Magnolia, Ark., where police have conducted searches of a residence and a car and acquired search warrants for a number of cellphones and Facebook accounts.
Police have also obtained samples of DNA from both defendants, court records show. Butler's girlfriend and Gentry allegedly were driven to Texarkana by a third woman, according to a probable cause affidavit. that woman allegedly told Texarkana, Arkansas, police she was asked by Gentry to drive her to Texarkana to get marijuana.
Biddle's brother allegedly had been warned by someone in Magnolia that his Linden Street house was being watched and a burglary possibly being planned. The brother asked Biddle to keep an eye on the home and Biddle and his girlfriend were at the house Feb. 27.
Biddle's girlfriend allegedly saw someone walk through the living room and alerted Biddle. Biddle grabbed a hammer and confronted the intruder in his brother's bedroom. Biddle's girlfriend allegedly told police she heard a "scuffle" and then gunshots. She found Biddle in his brother's bedroom. He'd been shot in the head.
The woman who allegedly drove from Magnolia to Texarkana told police she first drove to a Texarkana furniture store and picked up Butler before driving to a neighborhood where Butler and Gentry told her they were purchasing marijuana. The driver and Butler's girlfriend were allegedly waiting in the car when Gentry ran back and jumped in, claiming she heard gunfire. The group of women drove around the neighborhood looking for Butler but were unable to find him.
The women then went to an area motel where Butler had rented a room. Butler was already there when the women arrived and he had a large amount of marijuana. The driver told police it was the largest amount of marijuana she had ever seen.
Investigators believe Butler and Gentry planned to steal marijuana from the Linden Street house and that Biddle was shot when he attempted to stop them.
Both Butler and Gentry are being held in the Miller County jail. Gentry's case is assigned to Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson while Butler's is assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.
Butler is being held without bond. Gentry's bail is set at $500,000.