BENTONVILLE -- The murder suspect in a shooting at a Bentonville motel last week is being held on a $1 million bond and will be arraigned on Jan. 7, the Benton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said today.
Walter James Bryan, 18, of Rogers is being held in the Benton County Jail, the prosecutor's office confirmed.
Tyler Scott Garska, 22, of Green Forest was found dead shortly before noon Nov. 20 with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head, according to a Saturday statement by Bentonville Police. The department's investigators said Garska and Bryan were involved in a fight.
Garska was stabbed in April at the Regency 7 Motel in Rogers. A release from the Rogers Police Department at the time said Garska and Jorge Daniel Castaneda, the accused, were suspected members of rival gangs.
Police in the most recent case took Bryan into custody in Fayetteville on Saturday on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, intimidating a witness and tampering with physical evidence. The police statement also said Bryan was in possession of a stolen firearm.
Bryan was due to appear in Benton County Circuit Court Tuesday for a pretrial hearing on unrelated drug charges, court records show.
A housekeeper found Garska's body about 11:30 a.m. in a room at the Super 8 Motel on Walton Boulevard, according to court documents. Officers reviewing surveillance video routinely taken at the hotel recognized Bryan and his sister, Shayla.
Investigators learned Shayla Bryan's place of employment through her probation officer and interviewed her at her job, according to the report. She told police the shooting was an accident during roughhousing and that three others were in the room at the time besides herself, her brother and the victim, according to the report. Motel staff said they heard a loud noise about 8:30 a.m. on the day of the shooting.
Shayla Bryan, 19, was arrested Wednesday in connection with hindering apprehension or prosecution and revocation of suspended sentence or probation. She is being held in the county jail on a $100,000 bond.
Police located two of the witnesses Wednesday. They told police Walter Bryan brought guns to the room and he and Garska were "playing around with them." Most of the people in the room were smoking methamphetamine, one witnesses said.
Bryan hid both guns and clothing from the shooting, according to police. One of the witnesses also told police Bryan threatened her and told her to keep her mouth shut about the shooting, according to court documents.
NW News on 11/27/2018
Print Headline: Murder suspects bond set at $1 million