Judge issues gag order in capital murder case involving 12-year-old defendant

Crime Scene Investigators on scene at Fouke EZ-Mart (Photo by Field Walsh)

A Miller County circuit judge issued a gag order Wednesday in a capital murder case involving a 12-year-old accused of shooting a Fouke, Ark., convenience store clerk to death last week.

Christa Shockley, 21, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Feb. 2 while working as a cashier at E-Z Mart in Fouke. Prosecutors in Miller County declined to answer questions about the case Wednesday, citing an order from Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson forbidding the state, the defense, or members of law enforcement from discussing it publicly.

A 12-year-old boy from Fouke was arrested the same day Shockley was discovered dead of a gunshot wound by a local newspaper carrier at about 2 a.m. Because of his age, officials will not release the boy’s name. He is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility.

Because of his age, the boy’s case must be handled in juvenile court. However, if he is adjudicated guilty in Shockley’s murder, he could be moved to an adult prison on his 21st birthday if a judge finds him in need of extended juvenile jurisdiction.

Shockley graduated from high school in Genoa, Ark., in 2014 and was working two jobs and attending college at the time of her death. A service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at Beech Street Baptist Church in Texarkana, Ark.

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