Donate to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign

Helena-West Helena police chief says county prosecutor isn’t tough enough on crime

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. -- Security cameras recorded a man beating a woman with a gun in the middle of a grocery store in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas.

It happened in July at the AZ Grocery.

Moments before, the two looked to be in some kind of argument. The woman pushed the man and walked away.

"She went on about her business, but as a result, he just brutally attacked her," said Chief Virgil Green.

The woman went to the hospital and Green took the case to prosecutors expecting to charge the suspect with a felony.

"I looked at the video and saw some things in there that to me would have raised this person to be charged with aggravated battery," he said.

So when he received a letter from the deputy prosecutor refusing to file charges, he couldn't believe it.

He even asked the prosecutor to revisit the case earlier this month, but go the same response.

"That's not the way the justice system is supposed to work, and in my opinion, I think she has been let down as a victim," said Green.

Chief Green said since he joined the force last year, he's seen too many plea bargains or no charges at all.

Phillips County Deputy Prosecutor Todd Murray called that a blatant lie.

He told WREG there are more people in state prisons from Phillips County compared to other counties in the judicial district.

Murray said felony charges didn't apply in this case, because the woman was the first aggressor, and although the man had a weapon, he wasn't a convicted felon.

WREG reached out to the woman in the video. Her attorney told her not to speak with us.

We also reached out to he man in the video, but never heard back.

Police said he has attacked the same woman before but was never charged.

We left a message for Murray's boss, Prosecuting Attorney Fletcher Long who is in charge of the First Judicial District. We have yet to hear back.