Man pleads not guilty by reason of insanity to shooting 3-year-old to death in Little Rock

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Greg Holmes Photo: Pulaski County Sheriff's Office via AP

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The man accused of fatally shooting a 3-year-old boy in a road-rage incident in Little Rock has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

An attorney for Gary Eugene Holmes entered the plea Thursday.

Holmes is accused of fatally shooting 3-year-old Acen King as the boy was riding in his grandmother’s car on Dec. 17, 2016.

Police said Acen was on a shopping trip with his grandmother Dec. 17 when he was struck by gunfire.

The boy’s grandmother, Kim King-Macon, told authorities that she had stopped at a stop sign in the pouring rain when a man honked his horn, then got out of his car and fired a gun.

King-Macon said she did not realize her grandson had been shot until she arrived at the shopping center, about 10 miles away, and saw Acen slumped over in his seat.

In 911 recordings released by police, a woman can be heard screaming, “Acen has been shot! Oh my God!”

An affidavit from Little Rock Police Detective Steve Moore says investigators received a tip that the car involved in the shooting belonged to Holmes’ girlfriend, who is not named in court filings.

According to the affidavit, the girlfriend told police that she was in the car with Holmes when the fatal shooting occurred.

She told investigators that Holmes said a Dodge Charger was following him too closely, so he pulled over and let the car go past.

The affidavit says the girlfriend told police that Holmes got out of the car and fired his gun after the Charger stopped at a stop sign for “a few minutes.”

The girlfriend told police that Holmes said: “That’s what you get for following me around.”

Acen, who was riding in the backseat of the Charger, was shot in the back and later died at a hospital. King-Macon and a 1-year-old child who was also in the car were not injured.

The girlfriend said she and Holmes didn’t realize he had shot someone until the next day.