Texarkana, Texas, man pleads not guilty to murder Tuesday in Texarkana, Ark., shooting

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A Texarkana, Texas, man accused of first-degree murder in a drug-related shooting appeared before a judge Tuesday in Miller County, Ark.

Laderrick Trevalyn Johnson, 21, appeared with Texarkana lawyer Anthony Biddle before Circuit Judge Brent Haltom for arraignment and a bond reduction hearing Tuesday morning. After Johnson entered a not guilty plea to a charge of first-degree murder connected to the Nov. 2 death of Leroy Davis, 44, Haltom heard arguments regarding a motion to reduce Johnson’s bail.

Biddle argued that the $500,000 bail set for Johnson is unreachable and argued for a lesser amount. Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black opposed any reduction in bail, citing the violent nature of the crime charged and allegations that Davis’ death is connected to sales of illicit drugs.

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Davis was allegedly shot to death by Johnson in Johnson’s bedroom at the Beechdale Apartments on County Avenue in Texarkana, Ark., and then dragged outside, Black said. Johnson turned himself in Nov. 4 and has been in custody since. Haltom denied Johnson’s request for a bond reduction and bail remains set at $500,000.

Following Davis’s death, investigators acquired search warrants for the apartment where he was killed and for two autos. Police collected blood samples, bullets of varying caliber and bullet fragments from the apartment, according to search warrant affidavits. Drugs such as marijuana and synthetic marijuana were found in the apartment and methamphetamine was allegedly collected from Davis’ pocket. Marijuana was allegedly collected from a car that was searched.

Johnson is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing before Haltom in March. He faces ten to 40 years or life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.

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