Third jury selected in 2015 fatal shooting

Marvin Arrell Stanton

For the third time, a jury was chosen to decide the case of a man facing a murder charge in Miller County for allegedly shooting another over a dispute concerning a parking spot.

Marvin Arrell Stanton, 53, was 48 when he fatally shot 22-year-old Jesse Hamilton in the parking lot of the Raceway gas station on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Ark., on Sept. 15, 2015. Stanton was found guilty of murder in May 2016 and sentenced to life plus an additional 15 years for using a firearm.

A higher court threw out Stanton’s conviction and sent the case back to the trial court. In August 2018, a second jury was chosen to hear the case but Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson declared a mistrial on the second day. A jury of nine women and three men was selected Monday to hear the case for a third time.

Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Potter Barrett told the jury in opening remarks that the case is about a “senseless killing over a parking space.” Barrett told the jury that Hamilton and two friends were about to depart the station when Stanton pulled up next to Hamilton’s truck and said, “Move your f****** truck,” leading Hamilton and his friends to get out.

Barrett said Stanton was aggressive, bragged he was an ex-Marine, and lifted his shirt to show he had a pistol in a holster on his hip. Barrett said Stanton, who was about 340, shoved Hamilton, who weighed about half as much, into the side of his truck.

Despite being a smaller man, Hamilton got the best of Stanton in a brief fistfight which one of Stanton’s friends, Emily Robinson, attempted to stop by pulling on Hamilton, Barrett said.

One of Hamilton’s friends, Sanmarcos Jacobs, told Robinson to stay out of the fray. As the two men separated and the fight appeared to be over, Barrett said Stanton pulled his gun and shot Hamilton in the gut.

Little Rock defense attorney Natalie Dixon told the jury that Stanton acted in self-defense. Dixon told the jury that Stanton mistook Hamilton for someone else when he yelled at him to move his truck.

The jury heard Monday from two women who were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting and from one of the men who was with Hamilton the night he was killed.

The jury is expected to hear testimony all day Tuesday at the Miller County courthouse. Stanton faces 10 to 40 years or life if convicted. Stanton is currently free on bond.

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