JONESBORO -- A man accused of killing one person and wounding six others during a party at a downtown venue in 2017 had his charges enhanced days before his scheduled trial.
Court documents show that prosecutors with the 2nd Judicial Circuit of Arkansas have filed a firearm enhancement against Kalius "KK" Lane of Jonesboro.
Lane, 21, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Monterio Barnes, 18, in the early-morning hours of May 14, 2017, at The Basement, 311-B S. Main St. He's also charged with six counts of first-degree battery in connection with the shooting.
"If any person is convicted of an offense that is classified by the laws of the state as a felony who employs a firearm as a means of committing the offense, they are subject to an additional period of confinement in Arkansas Department of Correction not to exceed 15 years," deputy prosecutor Charlene Henry said. "This period of confinement in Arkansas Department of Correction is in addition to any penalty that they may receive for any other charge."
Henry added that the enhancement portion of the penalty would run consecutive to the underlying charge.
Craighead County Circuit Judge Cindy Thyer granted a motion from defense attorney J. Bradley Hendrix of Little Rock last week for the criminal histories of civilian witnesses who have been subpoenaed to testify in the case.
Hendrix also filed a motion to limit what witnesses can say during the trial, specifically relating to gang membership and hearsay.
Multiple social media posts said Lane was involved in the shooting, but Hendrix argued that Facebook posts aren't admissible.
"Statements made by unidentified bystanders to the shooting in this case, testimony regarding social media chats, and generally, any testimony from a witness about what they heard from someone else, is inadmissible hearsay," Hendrix stated in court documents.
Hendrix also said the prosecution may theorize that the shootings were the result of a rivalry between gangs. Lane has denied any gang involvement and denies firing a gun. Hendrix said that means any evidence that Lane, or anyone, was a member of a gang is inadmissible.
More than 50 people have been subpoenaed to testify in this case, according to court documents.
Chauncey Thomas, 20, of Jonesboro, who also had been charged with first-degree murder, is expected to testify against Lane.
According to court documents, Thomas entered into a plea bargain in February after the prosecution learned that witnesses were recanting their testimony that he was one of the two shooters at the party.
He pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension, and the judge suspended imposition of sentencing for five years with the expectation that Thomas testify against Lane.
The trial is scheduled to begin this week, with jury selection beginning Tuesday.
State Desk on 10/14/2018
Print Headline: Charges stiffened in Jonesboro shooting