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Press Release

Convicted Murderer And Known Gang Member Among Two Guilty For Gun Crimes After Trials

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced guilty verdicts in two separate gun-related trials that each concluded on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. Antuan Rochelle Gaines, 36, of Little Rock was found guilty by a jury of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and Justin Patrick Stegall, 30, of Benton, was found guilty by a jury for being in possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle. United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker presided over the two-day trial of Gaines and United States District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson presided over the two-day trial of Stegall.

According to evidence presented at trial, on November 4, 2013, Little Rock Police Department homicide detectives and other uniformed officers approached Gaines and six other known members of the Highland Park Pirus—a Blood-affiliated gang in central Arkansas—in the parking lot adjacent to Ugly Mike’s Records on 12th Street to attempt to conduct interviews in connection with the homicide of Marcus Hunter. When Little Rock Patrol Officer Charles Starratt got out of his patrol car, he saw Gaines reach toward his waist band and bend down behind a car. He then heard the sound of metal hitting the asphalt.

When Officer Starratt searched behind the car he found a loaded Kimber, .45 caliber pistol. The pistol had been reported stolen after a residential burglary a few months prior. Gaines, who has a prior conviction for first-degree murder in Case No. CR-94-1194 in Pulaski County Circuit Court, was indicted on July 2, 2014, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

As presented during the Stegall trial, on September 10, 2013, Stegall was discovered to have a loaded, unregistered short barreled in his vehicle, which was located in a shopping center in Benton. Benton Police Department officers had responded to the scene to locate the vehicle after dispatch received a call from a driver who reported that a man had flashed a gun at him in a road rage incident. A vehicle matching the description given by the victim was seen driving into the shopping center. An employee of one of the stores informed the responding officers that she noticed the vehicle because it zoomed through a shopping center parking lot crowded with children and families, which she thought was dangerous.

This employee then directed police to a neighboring restaurant where they located Stegall, the driver of the vehicle. After Stegall’s arrest officers found the loaded, unregistered short barreled rifle, along with seven other firearms in his vehicle.

Gaines’ sentencing will be scheduled by the Court at a later date. Stegall is set to be sentenced on May 19, 2016. Both defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in the Bureau of Prisons and a fine of up to $250,000.

The Gaines case was investigated by the Little Rock Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Benecia B. Moore and Julie Peters. The Stegall case was investigated by the Benton Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Edward Walker and Erin O’Leary.

Updated February 19, 2016

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