A Texarkana man who failed to appear for his sentencing hearing at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning at the Miller County courthouse was handed two consecutive six-year terms at a hearing Wednesday.
Charlston Brown, 35, entered guilty pleas Monday to felon in possession of a firearm and violent group activity at an appearance before Circuit Judge Brent Haltom. At the request of Brown’s lawyer, Darren Anderson of Texarkana, Haltom set the case for formal sentencing Tuesday morning and allowed Brown a night to get his affairs in order.
When Haltom took the bench Tuesday morning, Brown was a no-show and a warrant issued for his arrest. Later that day, Brown turned himself in and was arrested by an investigator with the prosecuting attorney’s office.
At a hearing Wednesday morning, Haltom sentenced Brown to two six-year prison terms and ordered they run one after the other for a total of 12 years. Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black and Anderson had made arrangements for Brown to serve 10 years as part of his plea offer but when Brown didn’t show, that changed.
Black said her office is preparing to file a formal charge of failure to appear at sentencing against Brown, who admitted he was drunk Tuesday during Wednesday’s hearing. Failure to appear at sentencing is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, prosecutors could seek to increase the punishment range because Brown’s multiple prior felony convictions give him habitual offender status.
Brown’s original charges stem from an Oct. 5, 2014, shooting at the Race Way convenience store on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Ark. A fight broke out among a large crowd of people and shots were fired from multiple weapons, according to a probable cause affidavit. At least one person died and another was injured. Brown provided one of the guns used in the shooting and was involved in the fight.