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Men plead not guilty to charges in man's killing in Rogers

by Tracy Neal | November 24, 2021 at 3:50 a.m.

BENTONVILLE -- Three men pleaded not guilty to charges involving the killing of a man found dead in August in his vehicle.

The trio had their arraignments Tuesday before Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren.

Jesse James Stanford, 21, of Rogers, is charged with capital murder, aggravated robbery and tampering with physical evidence.

Stetson Shelton, 24 of Springdale, is charged with aggravated robbery, hindering apprehension or prosecution, tampering with physical evidence, possession of firearm by certain person and delivery of controlled substance.

Damon George, 24, of Rogers, is charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution and tampering with physical evidence.

The three are charged in connection with the death of Ru-Jauree Harris. His body was found in a pickup parked at 2104 S. K St. in Rogers, according to court documents. Police officers went at 12:33 a.m. Aug. 11 to a call concerning a suspicious vehicle and found Harris, 22, with a gunshot wound to his head, according to court documents.

Stanford was interviewed by a detective with the Benton County Sheriff's Office. Stanford said Shelton set up a drug deal with Harris, the documents say. Stanford initially said he planned the robbery and shot Harris once in self-defense after Harris attempted to strike him. He said Harris was in his pickup and he was outside when Harris swung at him, according to the documents.

Detectives found a shell casing and glass shards at 14818 Tipton Place. The tire tread at the Tipton Place scene matched the tire tread of the vehicle found on K Street, according to the affidavit.

Stanford said the plan was to rob and shoot Harris, claiming Harris had been shorting him on marijuana for six months to a year, according to the affidavit.

Shelton said he set up the drug deal with Harris for Stanford. Shelton said he only knew Stanford was going to buy marijuana from Harris and had no knowledge of the plan to rob Harris, according to the affidavit.

Stanford told the detective Shelton told him to take the gun apart and throw away the parts, according to documents.

George was interviewed and said Stanford and Shelton talked about a robbery, according to documents. The Ruger used in the shooting was disposed of by taking it apart and throwing the parts away. George said. Shelton asked him to drive Stanford around so he could throw the parts out of the window, according to the affidavit.

The three men are set for omnibus hearings at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 16.

Stanford is being held without bond in the Benton County Jail. George is being held in jail on a $250,000 cash-only bond, while Shelton is being held on a $750,000 cash-only bond.

Print Headline: Men plead not guilty to charges in man's killing


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