Man Pleads Not Guilty in Death of Springdale Resident

Posted: January 31, 2014 at 9:51 a.m.
Updated: January 31, 2014 at 10:18 a.m.

— A Duson, La., man pleaded not guilty this morning to charges filed in the connection of the robbery and death a Springdale man.

John Armando Guerra, 55, is charged with capital murder and aggravated robbery in connection with the murder of Edward Abel. Guerra pleaded not guilty at an arraignment.

Abel, 62, was stabbed to death, according to court documents. He was pronounced dead at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale.

Abel lived in the portion of Springdale in Benton County.

Guerra fought extradition while in custody in Norfolk, Va., but was returned to Benton County earlier this week.

Jame Michael Smith, 48, of Springdale has is also charged in connection with the case. Smith is charged with capital murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated residential burglary. He previously pleaded not guilty.

Smith is being held without bond in the Benton County Jail

Circuit Judge Brad Karren ordered Guerra also be held without bond.

David Reading, deputy prosecutor, told the judge that Guerra has no ties to the area and has a criminal record.

Joel Huggins, one of Guerra's attorneys, said he had explained, and his client understood since he is charged with capital murder, he would be held without bond.

Affidavits detailing the crimes have been sealed in the case. The judge set a Feb. 12 hearing so attorneys can review the affidavits and decide whether any redactions are necessary.

Three people have also been arrested in connection with stealing from Abel.