An accused murderer’s request for a “reasonable” bond was denied earlier this week in White County Circuit Court.
The bond hearing for Hunter Dean Bishop, 26, of Searcy was held Monday. Bishop is being held on no bond at the White County Detention Center on charges of class Y felony capital murder and class B felony possession of a firearm by certain persons in the May 15 shooting death of Maddison Clevenger on Horton Street.
Becky McCoy, the 17th Judicial District prosecuting attorney, said she argued for no bond to be upheld based on evidence that has been accumulated up to this point in the investigation “linking him to the crime and his prior criminal history and the fact that the Arkansas Constitution permits a no bond on capital cases.”
Bishop had been arrested May 15 on preliminary charges of possession of a firearm by certain persons and theft by receiving. In 2016, Bishop was sentenced to 41 months in prison for shooting a Plainville, Kan. convenience store clerk in the hip during an attempted robbery. He originally was being held on a $40,000 bond, which was changed to no bond after he was charged with murder.
Clevenger, who was 23 years old, reportedly was shot in the head with a handgun she had purchased four days earlier. Searcy police officers found her body while performing a welfare check because she did not show up for work and wasn’t answering phone calls.
The handgun was found inside the vehicle Bishop was driving when he was pulled over for a traffic stop, after he had “denied being in possession of a firearm,” according to the affidavit written by Searcy Police Department Detective Andrew Ripka. Bishop reportedly was in a relationship with Clevenger.
The gun reportedly was loaded with 9mm rounds similar to one found on the bed near Clevenger’s body. The Arkansas Crime Lab determined that the projectile inside the residence was fired by the handgun found in Bishop’s vehicle.
McCoy said Bishop will be back in court Feb. 2 along with two other capital murder cases that were previously set for Monday. Those cases involve Christopher S. Brown and Jason Levi Baxter.
Baxter, 25, of Kensett, is being held in the May 14 death of Kensett resident Julius Williams, who was 77. Williams died of an apparent gunshot wound. Brown, 23, of Romance, is being held in connection with the shooting death of Romance resident Charles Hogue, who was 73. Hogue was found dead in his back yard March 28 from a gunshot wound to the back of his head, according to the affidavit. Brown’s charges also include theft of property and tampering with physical evidence.