Life in prison for Poinsett County killer

HARRISBURG – A Poinsett County Circuit Court jury took less than an hour to convict a Harrisburg man of capital murder on Wednesday, Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said.

Billy Combs, 59, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Poinsett County jury comprised of nine women and three men deliberated for about an hour Wednesday afternoon before reaching the verdict. Jurors spent 30 minutes of that hour re-watching a video presented as evidence during Combs’ trial.

Deputy prosecuting attorneys Kevin Watts and Val Price represented the state. The state waived the death penalty before trial began.

Combs admitted to police that he shot Brett Smith, 22, of Harrisburg 10 times in the head with a .22 rifle on Sept. 21, 2018. Smith lived in a trailer that Combs owned. The two had argued over money. When asked why Combs shot Smith that many times, Combs told police, “it was all the bullets I had.”

“We appreciate the quick response and good investigative work of Special Agent Creston Hutton of the Arkansas State Police and officers Brent Kimbrough and Justin Kimble of the Harrisburg Police Department,” Ellington said. “Deputy prosecutors Price and Watts worked hard to see that justice as done for Brett Smith and his family.

“We appreciate the jury’s attention and verdict,” Ellington said. “I believe the jury sent a message that senseless murder will not be tolerated in Poinsett County.”

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