Marion, AR – Justin East, 28, of West Memphis was convicted yesterday of Manslaughter and Fleeing.
The Crittenden County jury recommended a sentence of 25 years. Circuit Judge Randy Philhours followed the jury’s recommendation and imposed the recommended terms, deciding to run them consecutively.
On May 24, 2016 at approximately 10:00 a.m., the defendant got into a fight with Dedrick Meadows, 40, of West Memphis. After a brief scuffle, East pulled a .32 cal. revolver and shot the victim six times. Four of the bullets entered Meadows’s back as he was trying to run away from the altercation. Meadows was unarmed.
East fled the scene at a high rate of speed in a pickup truck as West Memphis Detectives Stacy Allen, Martin Gill and Ira Roundtree gave chase. East threw the weapon out of the vehicle as he was being pursued, a Release said.
East pled self-defense. The trial began on November 7th and ended when the jury returned its verdict and sentence recommendation at Thursday evening, November 9th. The jury which was made up of 7 women and 5 men deliberated four hours. The jury also found East guilty of using a firearm to commit a felony and tampering with evidence.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tom Young prosecuted the case for the State of Arkansas.
Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said, “I want to thank Deputy Prosecutor Tom Young for his thorough efforts in obtaining justice for the family of Dedrick Meadows. This was a tough case and he devoted many hours preparing for this trial. I also want to thank the officers of the West Memphis Police Department who arrested the defendant and investigated this case. The jury thoughtfully considered the evidence and spent three long days hearing evidence and rendering a just verdict.”