Murder Defendants Appear In Court

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TEXARKANA, Texas–Two men charged with murder in the March beating death of a Texarkana man appeared separately before a judge in Bowie County on Monday.

Cedric Ballard, 52, and Darquales “Smiley” McHenry, 34, are accused in the killing of 53-year-old Johnny Robinson. Ballard appeared before 5th District Judge Bill Miller for arraignment on a murder charge on Monday morning. He is represented by Texarkana lawyer Shorty Barrett and entered a plea of not guilty. Miller scheduled Ballard to return to court in October for a pretrial hearing, according to records in the case.

McHenry appeared before Miller without a lawyer on Monday. Miller appointed Texarkana lawyer Eric Marks to represent him and rescheduled the case for arraignment Aug. 8, court records show.

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Ballard allegedly paid McHenry $50 dollars to beat Robinson at a house in the 500 block of Melton Street in Texarkana, Texas, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Robinson allegedly sold cigarettes, beer and marijuana for Ballard and Ballard allegedly believed Robinson had cheated him. McHenry allegedly assaulted Robinson while Ballard watched.

A witness reported that Ballard told McHenry, “He’s had enough. Come outside and I’ll pay you,” according to the affidavit.

Police were called to the Melton Street house March 23. They found Robinson unresponsive on a couch with blood coming from his nose and mouth. Robinson was identified by Texarkana Texas Police Department investigators through his fingerprints as he remained unconscious. He died at a local hospital that day.

Robinson suffered severe head trauma and a lacerated spleen.

Bond has been set at $1 million for both Ballard and McHenry. Both are being held in the Bowie County jail.

If convicted of murder, the men face five to 99 years or life in prison.

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