Manslaughter defendant pleads not guilty

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A Texarkana man accused of delivering a punch that led to a fatal head injury in another entered a not guilty plea to manslaughter at a hearing in Miller County earlier this week.

Travarus Devon Brown, 29, appeared before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones on Tuesday afternoon for arraignment. He entered a not guilty plea with the help of Texarkana lawyer Matt Stephens. Brown faces three to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000 if convicted of manslaughter in the death of James Lee Myer.

Brown allegedly knocked Myer to the ground June 26 in front of the office at the Smith Keys Apartments in Texarkana, Ark. Officers with the Texarkana, Ark., Police Dept. responded to a call June 26 regarding a disturbance. When they arrived, they found Myer, 50, lying on the ground unconscious. Myer was transported by Life Net to Wadley Hospital for treatment where it was determined he had suffered skull fractures and brain swelling. Myer died just days after he suffered the head trauma at Smith Keys on June 26.

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TAPD investigators arrested Brown for manslaughter after an investigation led them to conclude he is responsible for Myer’s injuries and subsequent death.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Brown admitted that he was involved in a physical altercation with Myer. Brown allegedly told investigators Myer was teasing him about having to climb through a window to enter his girlfriend’s apartment at Smith Keys because he had previously been banned from the property.

Brown is currently being held in the Miller County jail. Bail is set at $50,000.

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