A Crossett man arrested in connection with a California man’s death in Ashley County was convicted and sentenced to prison last week.

James Webb, 79, of North Carolina Street in Crossett, was convicted by a jury on charges of first degree unlawful firearm discharge and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the incident, which happened in July.

Webb was sentenced to 192 months in prison for the unlawful discharge conviction and 72 months for tampering with evidence. The order filed in the Ashley County Circuit Clerk’s Office states that sentences are to run concurrent.

The case began when Ashley County Sheriff’s Deputies and Crossett Police Department officers responded to a call of shots fired on Dunmore Loop in West Crossett.

According to a news release from the Ashley County Sheriff’s Office at the time, when law enforcement officers arrived on scene, they found Dennis Smith, 55, of California, with apparent gun shot wounds. Smith was transported to Ashley County Medical Center by Crossett Ambulance Service, where he later died.

Webb was arrested and taken to the Ashley County Detention Facility in Hamburg following the incident. At that time, officials said Webb was expected to be charged with first-degree murder and appeared before 10th Judicial District Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson for a first appearance.

On July 16, 10th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen filed formal charges in Ashley County’s circuit court charging Webb with unlawful discharge and evidence tampering.

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