A Van Buren man charged with attempted first-degree murder earlier this year pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of first-degree battery Wednesday in Crawford County Circuit Court.
Kristopher Leigh Coker, 27, Charles Jason Glass, 33, both of Van Buren, Christopher Paul Williams, 25, of Alma, Mark Dewayne Jackson, 26, of Diamond City and Darrell Dewayne Roberts, 26, of Dardanelle were all charged with and pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder in January.
Coker pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree battery Wednesday and was sentenced to eight years in prison plus 10 years suspended. Williams pleaded guilty to the same charge Nov. 12 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus 10 years suspended.
The Crawford County’s Sheriff’s Office, Mulberry Police Department and Dyer Police Department responded to a report Jan. 19 on Melody Lane, where they discovered Wayne Lewis, 27, suffering from multiple stab wounds in the home and the man who lives in the home standing outside the residence, according to an incident report.
The man who lives at the home told authorities he allowed Lewis to spend the previous night at his home, but told him he couldn’t stay any longer and would have to find somewhere else to go, according to the report.
Lewis called a friend to pick him up, and when his ride arrived and he went outside, the homeowner told authorities he heard a "ruckus" and looked outside, where he saw "Critter" (Williams) beating Lewis before another man got out of the car and walked toward Lewis, according to the report.
Lewis then came running back in the house screaming he’d been stabbed, the report states.
Authorities located the suspect vehicle on Lamb Road in Alma, where they took Williams into custody before capturing the other four suspects at a nearby residence, according to the report.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Robert Presley said Coker was charged as an accomplice because although he was there when Lewis was attacked, Lewis said he didn’t believe Coker participated in the stabbing.
Trial dates for Glass and Jackson will be scheduled once a mental evaluation for Glass is complete.
Jackson is expected to finalize a plea bargain with prosecutors and be back in court Dec. 9, Presley said.