BREAKING NEWS: Jury finds Arkansas man guilty in shooting death of Springhill man

By Bonnie Culverhouse

It took a jury of six men and six women barely an hour to return a guilty verdict in the trial of Logan Harmon Smith of Taylor, Ark.

Smith was charged with the June 19, 2020 shooting death of 37-year-old Anthony Bruns of Springhill.

The state called more witnesses today – firearms and autopsy experts – as well as persons with whom Smith had contact after the event. Lastly, they called Anthony Bruns’ mother, Glennis McCotter, who testified mostly about the day Webster Parish deputies came to her house to give her the news of her son’s death.

“When I got home from Benton that day, A.J.’s bike was in the carport and his headset and a bag were on the counter,” she said. “He rode his bike everywhere, so I texted him but got no response, and he did not come home.”

After testifying, McCotter was asked how she felt about the trial and her testimony.

“That was so hard,” she said. “I was shaking all over.”

Coroner Frank Peretti, who performed Bruns’ autopsy, showed disturbing photos from his findings.

“The bullet tracked left to right, back to front, in an upward direction,” Peretti said. “It was a devastating brain injury … it was the cause of death.”

The defense called no witnesses, and Smith declined to testify.

Charles A. Smith, 26th Judicial District Court Judge, presided over the case. Prosecuting attorneys were Jimbo Yocom and Melanie McCullough. Mary Ellen Halterman and David Shepherd were the defense attorneys.

The second degree charge of murder, to which Smith was found guilty, required a unanimous vote.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 16, 2022. The law requires a life sentence without benefit of probation, parole or reduction sentence.

Following the trial, Shepherd was asked if his client will appeal the verdict.

“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “But I’m putting it on my calendar.

Portion of original story:

Bruns reportedly was found on the side of Percy Burns Road, just south of Reynolds Street on Louisiana Hwy. 157 June 19, 2020.

Webster Parish Sheriff’s investigators Phillip Krouse and Tommy Kemp Jr. worked the case and arrested Smith, who was 21 at the time.

Bruns was allegedly killed in another location, and his body dumped at the site where Springhill Police were called. It was reportedly out of their jurisdiction, so Sheriff’s investigators were called to the scene.

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