Starting today jurors will be selected in the trial of a man accused of shooting a Pine Bluff police officer to death nearly three years ago.
KeShone Smith, now 22, is charged with capital murder of Detective Kevin D. Collins, first-degree battery of Officer Ralph Isaac and two other counts of first-degree battery in a shootout at the Econo Lodge motel on North Blake Street on Oct. 5, 2020. Smith and two men from Arkansas were being located on active felony warrants related to a shooting death in Conyers, Ga., in June of that year.
Collins was 35 and has been honored through the naming of a police training center at the site of the old Downtown Library and a scholarship for criminal justice students at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter said the state is pursuing the death penalty for Smith, and the jury selection process therefore will take longer than usual. The process is expected to last at least three days, with hopes of beginning the trial Thursday before Circuit Court Judge Jodi Raines Dennis.
Charges were filed against Smith on Dec. 1, 2020, and an arrest warrant was served a week later. Since then, about 42 motions in the case have been made between the state and defense lawyers, and subpoenas have been served to two sheriff's officials, according to court records.
Attorney Lee D. Short of North Little Rock is representing Smith.