Teen charged with murder pleads not guilty

Photo: Baxter Morrell Stowers

A Salesville teen accused of shooting and killing a 41-year-old man made an appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday.

Eighteen-year-old Baxter Morrell Stowers entered a not guilty plea to a first-degree murder charge filed against him stemming from the shooting death of Jeremy Wayne Alman also of Salesville. Stowers is also charged with aggravated residential burglary, criminal use of a prohibited weapon and possession of a handgun by a minor.

Stowers, who is free on a $200,000 bond, is being charged as an adult.

He appeared by video hookup from an undisclosed location. When Prosecutor David Ethredge told the court he wanted Stowers to reveal an address where he would be living or could be contacted, Stowers asked that he not be made to reveal the location in public due to “safety concerns.” It was decided Stowers will provide the information to the company that wrote his $200,000 bail bond, and it would be shared with the prosecutor’s office.

The court also ordered that if Stowers holds a passport that he be required to surrender it.

Stowers told Circuit Judge Gordon Webb he had not yet hired an attorney, but he indicated he would be hiring private counsel. Judge Webb ordered Stowers to reappear in court Nov. 12 to determine if he had be successful in obtaining the services of a lawyer.

Much of the information concerning the incident, including what might have motivated the killing, is being kept under wraps by prosecutors because the investigation is still underway.

The alleged shooter had made no statements regarding the incident to investigators at the time a news release was put out by Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery on Oct. 6.

Stowers himself called 911 about 2 p.m. on Oct. 5 and reported he had shot and killed another male at an address along County Road 111.

When deputies responded, they found Stowers waiting for them in the driveway with his hands up.

He was described as wearing red and white Nike shoes, blue jeans and a St. Louis Cardinals logo shirt, while holding a wallet and cellphone in his hand.

Deputies asked Stowers if anyone else was in the residence, and he said he did not believe so. He told deputies he thought the victim had been the only one at home.

When deputies cleared the residence, they found no one else inside.

Alman’s body was found on the front porch of the house. He was reported to have a gunshot to the head and arm. His body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock for an autopsy.

According to a news release from Sheriff Montgomery, the weapon used in the shooting was also taken into evidence at the scene.

Alman was listed on the incident report as an employee of the Arkansas Department of Correction.

As Stowers was being taken from the scene of the incident to the Baxter County Detention Center, he is reported to have asked if the deputy driving him “had ever had to shoot a man?” Stowers was said to have commented, “It’s the worst feeling.”

Stowers was 17-years-old when the incident occurred. He turned 18 on Oct. 7 while in the Baxter County jail.

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