Opening statements and testimony began Monday afternoon in the murder trial of a motorcyclist accused of ending a fist fight at a Texarkana, Ark., gas station with a single shot from a .45 caliber pistol.
Marvin Arrell Stanton, 49, allegedly shot Jessie James Hamilton after a short physical confrontation Sept. 25 in the gas pump area of Raceway on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Ark. Stanton’s lawyer, Jason Files of Little Rock, argued that Stanton fired in self-defense to end the “threat” Hamilton posed.
Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black argued that the case involves a senseless killing over a parking spot. Black told the jury Stanton aggressively told Hamilton, who was preparing to leave the station with two friends in his pickup, to, “move your f—ing truck,” at around 10 p.m. the night of the shooting.
Texarkana, Ark., Detective Jason Haak testified as the jury watched surveillance video from the store which showed the men arguing before Stanton pushes Hamilton. Stanton, who is over six feet and 300 pounds, was no match for Hamilton, who was 5’7.
The video showed a 25-second fist fight during which Hamilton managed to get on top of Stanton and deliver punches to his face. A woman, Emily Robinson, who is expected to testify later this week, can be seen pulling Hamilton off of Stanton.
Kadedra Ellis said Stanton, who she described as wearing, “a biker outfit,” reached to his side, pulled out a pistol and fired, in the moments after Robinson’s intervention created an approximately three-foot space between the men.
“The fight was broke up,” Ellis said.
Ellis testified that she did not believe Stanton was in real danger. Haak said the only visible injury he noticed on Stanton the night of the shooting was a small scratch on the man’s face. Haak testified as the jury watched high resolution video shot by TXK Today’s own Field Walsh. The video footage showed Stanton as he was walked across the Raceway parking lot to a waiting police cruiser.
“He’s not limping,” Haak said.
Haak said he acquired a search warrant to photograph Stanton’s body several days after the shooting. Haak said Stanton complained of “tenderness” in his thumb and knee.
Other members of law enforcement who took the stand Monday afternoon said Stanton attempted to render aid to Hamilton immediately after the shooting by applying pressure to the gunshot wound in his abdomen. Stanton’s .45 was still holstered at his hip when officers cuffed him and two magazines loaded with 26 rounds of ammunition for the gun were taken as evidence from Stanton also.
During opening remarks, Files said Stanton has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and is certified to teach concealed carry classes.
The six men and six women chosen Monday to decide if Stanton is guilty of murder were told to return to court for more testimony Tuesday morning by Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson. If they convict Stanton of murder, he faces ten to 40 years or life in prison. Prosecutors have also filed notice of their intent to seek up to 15 more years for Stanton for the use of a firearm during the commission of a felony, which by law must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed on an underlying offense.
Stanton is currently free on a $250,000 bond. The trial is expected to end later this week.