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Man pleads not guilty in fatal Fort Smith shooting

Posted: January 9, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.

— A Fort Smith man has pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of a woman who was a passenger in a van.

The Southwest Times-Record reports that 23-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jackson entered the plea Wednesday in Sebastian County Circuit Court.

Prosecutors said Jackson opened fire on the van Dec. 29 and shot 21-year-old Aleya Criswell in the back.

An affidavit filed in the case states Jackson told police who arrested him that someone had threatened him earlier and when the van passed him another man said “there they go.” The affidavit states Jackson told investigators he then pulled out a gun and opened fire at the van.

Jackson is jailed on a $250,000 cash only bond.

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