Two men who recently pleaded guilty to charges in a Pine Bluff pawn shop shooting that left the owner dead and another injured will not face murder charges from the state, according to a local prosecutor.
Rodney Tyrone Henry, 25, of Camden pleaded guilty before a U.S. district judge on Tuesday to one count of interference with commerce by threats or violence resulting in the Nov. 12, 2018, shooting death of Brandon McHan, who owned the Wise Buck Guns & Pawn Shop on Camden Road. Henry made the plea in exchange for the government's dismissal of an indictment against him.
The other suspect, Daryl Anthony Dwayne Strickland Jr., 25, of Pine Bluff pleaded guilty in August to one count of threatening or causing physical violence to another person during a robbery.
The men await completion of a pre-sentencing report by the U.S. Probation Office for their sentencing. They could be sentenced to life in prison.
Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Hunter said Wednesday no additional charges from the state will be filed against Henry or Strickland.
"At the time those crimes were committed, we in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office made the determination that they would handle the prosecution of that incident. So, there won't be any charges from the state end," Hunter said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office prosecuted the case because Wise Buck was federally licensed to sell guns and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms investigated the matter from the beginning, Hunter added. Henry and Strickland could have faced either life in prison without parole or the death penalty had the state filed charges.
"Those potential penalties were there on the federal level as well," Hunter said. "Really, it was based upon the involvement the ATF had in the investigation of the case and to be able to maintain contact with witnesses. It could have gone either way, and the decision was made at the time in conjunction with discussions with the family, me and the U.S. attorney of the time of where they were prosecuted."
McHan and his friend Jason Booth were wounded in an exchange of gunfire during the attempted robbery. McHan was shot three times and died later that evening at Jefferson Regional Medical Center. Booth was seriously wounded but survived the shooting.
An hour after the shootout, Henry and Strickland allegedly robbed the Alon gas station on South Olive Street and came away with $800 and a pistol that belonged to the store clerk.
Henry and Strickland were arrested at separate residences in Camden on Dec. 4, 2018, according to a police affidavit, and returned to Pine Bluff for questioning.