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Yarbrough murder trial postponed until September

by Bradly Gill | June 21, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

By Bradly Gill

News Editor

The State of Arkansas has been granted a motion of continuance in the murder trial of Tyler Yarbrough, a Prescott man accused of shooting a Jerrun Lewis in 2018.

The trial was originally set for June 22, but has been moved to September 22.

In their motion for continuance, the State says State Medical Examiner Charles Pokes will be unavailable to testify due to prior criminal trial commitments and that his "live testimony concerning the nature, extent and directionality of the gunshot wound, the characteristics of the wounds sustained by the victim, and the cause and manner of death of the victim are critical for the complete presentation of the State's case."

Another state witness, a firearm examiner, is likewise unavailable, according to prosecutors.

A police affidavit states that on June 2, 2018, Yarbrough admitted to shooting Jerrun Lewis with a .40 caliber Springfield XD automatic weapon which he owned.

Investigators spoke with the a witness who stated the shooting started over a dispute following Yarbrough losing a game of dominoes to Lewis, records state. The resident told investigators that Yarbrough and Lewis were sitting at a table outside of the residence arguing, and that he told them to "knock it off" before eventually putting the game away and telling them to leave, according to police.

According to the affidavit, the resident told police that while he was inside the house putting up other items, he heard two gunshots, went outside and found Lewis lying on the ground.

Yarbrough told investigators he had been at the residence since noon that day playing dominoes, drinking and eating, according to the affidavit. He went inside the residence and went back outside, Yarbrough told police, before Lewis pulled a knife on him, records state; Yarbrough reportedly stated that he then ran towards his truck with Lewis chasing him with the knife.

Yarbrough reported that Lewis grabbed him and they were fighting, at which time he reached into his truck, retrieved his gun and shot Lewis twice, according to the affidavit. He said the gun then jammed. Yarbrough showed investigators two minor injuries on his arms where he said he was cut by Lewis, as well as an abrasion on his forehead, according to records. Yarbrough stated that he was being "manhandled" by the bigger Lewis and had to protect himself, the affidavit says.

After first responders arrived on the scene, Lewis was transported to the Medical Center of South Arkansas in El Dorado where he later died, and "Yarbrough was treated with band-aids and released from the ER," according to the affidavit.

A witness to the incident stated that the altercation started over Lewis beating Yarbrough at dominoes, according to the affidavit. The witness told police they were all drinking beer and Yarbrough was also drinking hard liquor.

According to court records, the witness told police Yarbrough and Lewis "were going back and forth at each other about the game" and "Yarbrough stated he was going to get his gun and started walking to his truck." The witness said "Lewis took off behind Yarbrough as Yarbrough walked to the passenger side of his truck.

The witness said he did not see a knife at that time, according to court records. Once both men were at the side of the truck, the witness stated that he observed them fighting for about 10 seconds, then observed Lewis lying on the ground, records state.

Upon arrival, deputies located the gun in the driver's side seat of the vehicle, along with two spent shell casings and a knife on the ground at the rear passenger side of the truck.

Print Headline: Yarbrough murder trial postponed until September

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