Murder suspect back in jail after allegedly failing drug test

Photo: Baxter Morrell Stowers

An order for the revocation of the bond for Baxter Stowers, who is charged in the shooting death of a 41-year-old Salesville resident, was filed Friday.

The 18-year-old Stowers was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center at 1:25 p.m.

Stowers posted a $200,000 bond on Oct. 14.

During a court appearance Nov. 13, the court entered an order making it a condition of his bond that he not use any controlled substances.

He was to be drug tested weekly.

According to a motion filed by Stowers’ attorney, Shane Wilkinson of Bentonville, the Salesville teen passed his first drug test taken on the day the order was issued.

The state is now alleging Stowers failed a second test taken on Nov. 20 and showed positive for “THC/marijuana.”

Stowers’ attorney contends in his response to the state’s action that his client is “adamant” that he has not consumed any amount of marijuana since the court’s Nov. 13 order.

Stowers’ attorney says the test used by the state does not provide adequate evidence his client consumed marijuana before or after the court order was issued.

Wilkinson alleges in his response that more accurate testing would indicate the amount of THC detected so the court could be better informed as to whether Stowers recently consumed marijuana, or if trace amounts from a prior use were being detected.

Stowers’ attorney contends a total revocation of the $200,000 bond is unreasonable “for what — at most — can only be identified as a single incident of marijuana use.”

Wilkinson wrote in his response that the state “has fallen far short of proving when that amount was consumed.”

The defense attorney wrote that Stowers had been allowed to post a bond and remain free pending trial. “But because he may or may not have consumed some marijuana, he is now a danger to the community.” Wilkinson called the conclusion “absurd.”

The Bentonville attorney said there were any number of alternative remedies the court could impose short of a complete bond revocation.

Wilkinson asks the court to deny the state’s revocation motion and to set a hearing on the matter as soon as possible.

According to the order to revoke, signed by Circuit Judge Gordon Webb, Stowers is to be detained until a hearing the status of his bond can be held.

BACKGROUND

Stowers, who is charged as an adult, entered a not guilty plea in mid-October to the allegation against him stemming from the shooting death of Jeremy Wayne Alman, also of Salesville.

In addition to first-degree murder, Stowers is charged with aggravated residential burglary, criminal use of a prohibited weapon and possession of a handgun by a minor.

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

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. There has been no official notice that situation has changed.

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 Cardinal logo shirt and to have been 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 lying on a concrete floor between the front entrance to the residence and a door leading to a screened in porch. He was reported to have a gunshot to the head just behind and above his left ear. In addition, investigators said there appeared to be a wound to the victim’s right arm just above the center of the triceps area.

The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock for an autopsy.

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

Investigators reported there were no signs of a struggle inside the residence.

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.”

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI