Arkansas robbery suspect, 19, is charged with manslaughter after would-be victim kills accomplice

Posted: February 22, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Noah Bell

FORT SMITH -- A man was charged with manslaughter Tuesday in the death of his accomplice, who was fatally shot by the man they were trying to rob last weekend.

Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue also charged Noah Bell, 19, with aggravated robbery in a warrant that was served Tuesday. Shue said in a news release that Bell was being held in the Sebastian County jail in lieu of $100,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in circuit court on the aggravated robbery and manslaughter charges.

An arrest warrant affidavit said Bell and Ethan Meagley, 27, were trying to rob Christopher Neil Walker, 34, the night of Feb. 15 at the River Valley Inn at 5103 Towson Ave. As they kicked and beat Walker and tried to reach into his pockets for his money, the affidavit said, Walker pulled out a gun and shot Meagley in the chest. Meagley was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The manslaughter charge against Bell reads: "acting alone or with one or more persons [did] commit or attempt to commit aggravated robbery, and in the course of and in furtherance of the aggravated robbery or in immediate flight from aggravated robbery another person who was resisting aggravated robbery or flight caused the death of Ethan Meagley."

Bell was arrested the night of the shooting, but police said at the time that the aggravated-robbery count for which he was arrested was not related to the shooting. Police said he also was arrested on unrelated county warrants.

A warrant was issued Friday for Walker, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was arrested Saturday night in Fort Smith and was being held in the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. He remained in the county jail Tuesday on the firearms charge, according to jail records.

The arrest warrant affidavit for Bell said police had interviewed Walker. He said Bell got in his face and said, '"I'm hungry, give me your money.'"

Walker said Bell threw him to the ground and kicked him in the head, and Meagley kicked him in the lower torso and groin area, according to the affidavit. As they beat him, both men tried to reach into his pockets where he had cash, the affidavit said.

Walker told police he pulled a gun from his pocket and shot Meagley once in the chest, the affidavit said.

State Desk on 02/22/2018