Man pleads not guilty to murder in Raceway gas station shooting

Marvin Arrell Stanton

A Texarkana man entered a not guilty plea to murder Tuesday at a hearing in Miller County.

Marvin Arrell Stanton, 49, stood with Little Rock lawyers Jason Files and Toney Brasuell for arraignment before Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson at a hearing in the Miller County jail courtroom. Stanton reportedly shot Jesse Hamilton at close range during a physical confrontation Sept. 25 in the gas pump area of the Raceway on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Ark.

At the request of his lawyers, Johnson scheduled the case for a bond reduction hearing later in the month. Stanton’s bond is presently set at $250,000. Johnson set the case for a jury trial in late January.

The fight allegedly started because Stanton wanted Hamilton’s parking spot.

A fist fight broke out between the two men at about 10:15 p.m., according to a search warrant affidavit.

Hamilton was getting the best of Stanton when Stanton’s girlfriend, Emily Robinson, began tugging on Hamilton, pulling him away from Stanton. That distance gave Stanton the space he needed to pull a handgun from his pants and shoot Hamilton in the abdomen from a range of less than a foot.

Stanton’s friend, Lavon Strong, told investigators he and Stanton were walking out of Raceway when Stanton said, “get that fucking truck out of my way,” the affidavit states. Robinson claimed Stanton “was very polite” when he asked Hamilton to move his vehicle, “because the victim was parked in the location where the suspect and his friends like to park their motorcycles and hang out.”

Strong says Stanton raised his shirt, exposing a handgun in his waistband, as he claimed he had served as a Marine. The two men began to fight and a short time later, Hamilton was shot.

In addition to the handgun investigators collected from Stanton, two magazines for a .45 caliber weapon loaded with 26 rounds were retrieved from Stanton’s motorcycle. Witnesses said Stanton tried to render aid to Hamilton after the shooting.

Stanton faces 10 to 40 years or life in prison if convicted of first degree murder.

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