A Jonesboro man is looking at spending the next 55 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
According to information provided by Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Chrestman, a Greene County Circuit Court jury has convicted Kevin Dale Brady, 56, of first-degree murder, a Class Y felony, in the Jan. 13, 2020 shooting death of Michael Dewayne Nix, 33, at a rural Greene County residence.
Following the jury’s recommendation, Circuit Judge Randy Philhours sentenced Brady to 55 years in prison. The trial, which began on Nov. 15, concluded late Nov. 18.
Information from Chrestman’s office indicated deputy prosecutors Robert Thompson, Adam Butler, and Wesley Watts prosecuted the case. “It was a horrible incident,” said Thompson on Friday. “I’m pleased that the family of the victim Michael Nix received some justice in court.”
Thompson hailed the “outstanding investigative work” of law enforcement personnel on the case, both by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police. Specifically, he recognized Arkansas State Police investigators Tony Hill, Ramey Lovan, Creston Hutton and Mike Grimes. “And then, with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office,” Thompson said, “Tony Williams, Zakk Crocker, Patrick Lenderman, and others – I’m sure I’m leaving out some names. But those are the ones who worked on the case file.”
Thompson also commended his fellow deputy prosecutors Butler and Watts for their work on the case. “It was a complicated case and a group effort,” he said. Thompson also noted Watts was a new addition to the team. “He’s been here since April,” he said. “This was his first jury trial, and he did an excellent job.”
Thompson said that in addition to Brady, several others charged in connection with the murder had received sentences in the Department of Corrections:
Benjamin Kade Davis, 34, was originally also charged with first-degree murder. But he worked out a plea deal for manslaughter, a Class C felony instead, and was sentenced to a total of 13 years in the ADC in return for his agreement to testify. Thompson said nine years were for manslaughter, while the other four were for other charges outside Greene County.
Ashley Renee Hamilton, 31, negotiated a plea of guilty to a charge of one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution, a Class D felony. She was sentenced to 36 months in the ADC, plus 36 months suspended imposition of sentence.
Brittany Taylor Goodman, 36, also negotiated a guilty plea to one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution, which in her case was a Class B felony. She was sentenced to 36 months in the ADC, plus 108 months suspended imposition of sentence.
Karissa Danielle Denison, 31, likewise negotiated a plea of guilty to a charge of one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution, a Class D felony. She was sentenced to 24 months in the ADC, plus 48 months suspended imposition of sentence.
Thompson said the hindering apprehension charges were filed because none of the three so charged had reported the murder after it happened. One more case connected to the murder remains to be resolved. “Daniel Mangrum’s case is still pending,” he said.
Daniel Edmond Wayne Mangrum, 43, is also facing a charge of one count of first-degree murder, a Class Y felony. He has a motion-and-plea date of Jan. 27, 2022 and a trial date of Feb. 7, 2022.