Man sentenced in shooting death

NEWPORT, Ark. – A man will spend at least 20 years in prison for killing a Newport woman.

​Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, announced today Shaqualen Dewayne Houston, 20, of Newport pled guilty to three counts of committing a Terroristic Act at the beginning of the June 2017 Jackson County Jury Term. Circuit Judge Harold Erwin accepted the plea and sentenced Houston to a total sentence of 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with 10 years suspended.

 Charges against Houston stemmed from a shooting at the Hout Circle Newport Housing Authority neighborhood on April 16, 2016 which left Vanessa Thomas, 30, of Newport dead.  

Boyce said, “Although we were completely prepared to prove Houston fired at the vehicle in which Thomas was a passenger, there was more than one shooter and we had no proof Houston caused Thomas’ death.”

Press Release – Henry Boyce

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