One Chicot County murder suspect is behind bars in Ashley County, while another case is under active investigation as a possible robbery gone wrong.

In the most recent incident, Lake Village first responders were called to their second homicide in a two-week period on Thursday. 

Lake Village Police Chief Percy Wilburn said two homicides in such a small amount of time is a career first for him. 

At 11:21 a.m. Dec. 12, first responders were dispatched to the Lakeside Apartments on Mulberry St. Wilburn said that when police arrived they found a victim, later identified as Kevin Gaston, who had appeared to have gunshot wounds and they transported him to the Chicot Memorial Medical Center, where he later died. 

Wilburn said that though the incident is under investigation they believe it was an attempted robbery. 

Michael Mitchell was arrested and charged in connection with the murder, but Wilburn said other arrests could follow as well. Mitchell was in the custody of the Lake Village police as of Monday afternoon with a $250,000 bond. 

The incident comes just 18 days after another Lake Village homicide that left one dead and one injured. 

Wilburn said that the first incident, which took the life of student athlete, Sierra’li Wade, was a possible social media dispute. 

“I can’t stress enough that we believe these two events were unrelated,” Wilburn said. 

The suspect in last month’s Lake Village shooting, Octavious Easterling, is being detained at the Ashley County Jail. 

Easterling, 41, was arrested Dec. 6 in Pulaski County in connection with the shooting death of a University of Arkansas Pine Bluff basketball player and ROTC cadet, according to an Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler.

Wade was home for break and playing basketball in Lake Village when the shooting occurred. According to a report released by Lake Village police department, she was fatally shot around 6 p.m. Nov. 25 in Henry Augustus Johnson Park.

A second person was injured in the shooting, but a name was not released. Social media posts alleged that the second victim was Wade’s brother. 

According to her obituary, Wade was a freshman at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, where she was a cadet in ROTC and a guard on the basketball team according to the university’s roster. 

Wilburn said that U.S Marshals arrested Easterling and transported him to the Pulaski County jail  on Dec.6. 

Sadler said Lake Village police officers later transported him to the Ashley County jail, where he is currently detained with no bond.

No other court dates for Easterling were available at press time.

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