TEXARKANA, Ark.–A Texarkana man was convicted of capital murder Thursday by a Miller County jury in a 2022 Christmas Day shooting that left a man dead.
Tarus Meliek Walker, 25, was arrested last year in April in the Dec. 25, 2022, death of Aaron Bruce. Bruce, 40, was found suffering from gunshot wounds shortly before 10 a.m. Christmas morning in the parking lot of the Brookhollow Apartments in the 2500 Block of East 24th Street in Texarkana, Ark.
Attempts to revive Bruce by first responders were unsuccessful.
Walker was arrested on the capital murder charge in April last year. A second suspect, Nathaniel Fort, 21, was arrested a couple of days after Walker and is scheduled to face a jury on a charge of capital murder in Miller County next month.
Walker was sentenced to an automatic sentence of life without the possibility of parole by Circuit Judge Carlton Jones as the state was not seeking the death penalty.
Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell, who tried the case with Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jeffery Sams, told TXK Today on Thursday that “this verdict and sentence eliminates one more violent offender from the Texarkana, Ark., community.”
“Mr. Sams and I are very pleased with the verdict and appreciate the members of the jury for their time and consideration in this matter,” Mitchell said. “Mr. Walker is the first of two defendants to face trial for capital murder in the premeditated, deliberate, and senseless, death of Aaron Bruce. I hope this verdict begins the healing process for the Bruce family.”
Walker reportedly went to Bruce’s apartment with a gun because of a dispute Bruce had with his girlfriend, who has a child with Walker. A video of Walker with another man approaching Bruce’s door less than 30 minutes before he was found shot, was obtained by law enforcement, according to a probable cause affidavit. Walker was holding a gun when he began knocking on Bruce’s door.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple gunshots that morning.
Mitchell said the jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with a guilty verdict in Walker’s case. Walker was represented by Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson.