Warrant issued for suspect
By SHEA WILSON Managing Editor The Union County Sheriff ’s Office obtained a warrant Thursday for a sus pect wanted in the murder of a Mount Holly man.
Sheriff Ken Jones said Homer Ray Arnold, 44, of Dallas, Arnold Te x as, is being sought on capital murder charges in the death of Jerry Cornelious French, 67. Arnold is originally from Smackover and still has family ties in the area, Jones said.
French’s body was discovered a week ago by a family member. He was killed by a single gunshot fired at close range to the back of the head. A medium caliber weapon was used in the attack, according to Jones, though an exact date of death has not been determined. A review of the crime scene indicated the victim died some time prior to May 12, when the body was found.
French’s residence, located at 259 Bertha Williams Road in Mount Holly, appeared to have been burglarized and there were indications of forced entry into the home, investigators have said.
French’s truck – a 2003 white Chevrolet Avalanche – had been missing since the murder and was found Tuesday by authorities at an apartment complex south of Dallas.
The truck is what linked Arnold to the murder, Jones said.
"Mr. French’s truck that was stolen and recovered by us in Dallas, we have witnesses who saw him in the truck," Jones said Thursday afternoon. "We executed a search warrant, along with the Dallas Police Department, on his apartment and recovered evidence linking him to the crime scene and truck."
Jones said a set of keys to French’s truck and a shirt "that has what is sus- pected to be blood on it" were recovered at Arnold’s residence.
Two investigators from the sheriff’s office were still in Dallas late Thursday working with the Dallas Police Department’s homicide division.
Jones said the investigators were to return to Union County Thursday evening and crime scene evidence will be delivered to the state crime lab in Little Rock this morning.
"The investigation is contin uing and we hope to have him in custody soon," the sheriff said. "There is no evidence indicating that he is in the South Arkansas area. Anyone with information on the crime or his whereabouts, is asked to contact me or their nearest law enforcement agency. I consider him extremely dangerous."
To report information, contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 870-864-1970.