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DEFENDANT PLEADS GUILTY IN CASE INVOLVING SHOOTING DEATH IN NORTH LITTLE ROCK

December 6, 2012

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Grover Crossland, Resident Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and North Little Rock Police Chief Danny Bradley announced today a plea of guilty of Durrell Alexander Hill, age 21, of Little Rock, to Count 3 of the Superseding Indictment charging Hill and Ellington with aiding and abetting one another in the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime. Labrons Dominique Ellington, age 21, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, previously pled guilty to Count 3 of the Superseding Indictment on September 11, 2012. As set forth in the plea agreements, the statutory penalty for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a federal drug trafficking crime where the firearm is discharged is not less than ten (10) years imprisonment and not more than life imprisonment, a fine $250,000, or both. The plea agreement signed by Hill requires a sentence of fifteen years imprisonment. Sentencing will be set at a later date to be determined by the Court.

At the change of plea hearings, the United States set forth a synopsis of the evidence it would present at trial. On May 23, 2011, Ellington agreed to sell a quantity of marijuana to the victim. At the time of the arranged drug transaction in the early morning hours of May 24, 2011, Hill had a .40 caliber handgun for protection during their drug dealing and the gun was out and ready on Hill’s hip or under his leg. Ellington also had a firearm. The victim entered the back seat of Ellington’s vehicle at a residence in North Little Rock, Arkansas. According to Hill, the victim pulled a gun from his hip and pointed it at the back of Ellington’s head. Hill shot 14 rounds at the victim, who died of multiple gunshot wounds. The victim never fired a shot from his weapon. North Little Rock Police Department officers responded to the scene of the shooting, where they found the victim’s body in the backseat of the vehicle along with a .45 caliber handgun in the back seat floor board of the vehicle. Officers also located 14 spent .40 caliber shell casings, crack cocaine, digital scales, pills, cash, and marijuana.

Thyer stated, “The quality of the cooperative investigation by North Little Rock Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives resulted in these two defendants pleading guilty. The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to aggressively prosecuting those involved in drug-related violence to provide safer communities for the people of the Eastern District of Arkansas.

The investigation was conducted by the North Little Rock Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by First Assistant United States Attorney Jane W. Duke and Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Mazzanti.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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