This post has been updated with comments from the prosecutor.
Court documents filed this week shed more light on an Arkadelphia double homicide that happened in December 2022.
At 10:17 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30, a 911 call summoned officers to Lark Place Apartments where a resident reported he had been robbed. The resident, identified later as Camryn Young, told dispatchers that when the suspects left he heard four to six gunshots, and that he saw someone laying on the ground.
About a minute later Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia notified police that a victim suffering from gunshot wounds had been dropped off at the emergency room; that victim would later succumb to his injuries. He was identified as Quartez Burton, of Gurdon.
ORIGINAL STORY: Lark Place shooting leaves 2 dead
The first officers on scene observed a black male laying face down on the west side of Building 8; that victim, 16-year-old Ayden Hendrix, was later pronounced deceased at the scene.
Young would go on to tell investigators that he and his girlfriend were in his apartment when two armed, masked individuals kicked in his bedroom door and robbed him of his “personal belongings.” Young told police that gunfire rang out as the robbers fled the apartment complex. After a few moments he went outside to see his next-door neighbors, Chase and Chandler Langstaff, holding firearms, according to an affidavit released Monday. In the hours following his 911 call, Young would be arrested and booked into the Clark County Detention Center for misdemeanor drug charges. He was later released.
Authorities learned during their investigation that Burton and Hendrix had gone to Young’s apartment to “conduct a robbery.” What they intended to gain from the robbery isn’t mentioned in any official documents. Burton would “return to individuals who were nearby where [they] discovered that he had been shot during the robbery.”
A separate court document, released in March, indicates that Burton was dropped off at the hospital by Javion Sims and two other juveniles as Hendrix lay dead in the parking lot. Sims, 18, would later disclose that Burton had instructed him and two juveniles to wait in a vehicle parked behind Young’s apartment while Burton and Hendrix conducted the robbery, the affidavit states.
Sims also told investigators that, after hearing the gunshots, he saw Burton “carrying a bag” while running toward the parked vehicle. After delivering Burton to the hospital, one of the juveniles, 17-year-old Kaden King-Lewis, drove the trio to a relative’s home where they changed clothes and put them in a bag, along with the firearms. The bag and its contents would be left in the juvenile’s vehicle.
Sims and King-Lewis were ultimately charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated residential burglary. The second juvenile, age 15, will not be charged as an adult.
At some point during the investigation police focused their efforts on determining who killed Burton and Hendrix. At about 11:21 p.m. on the night of the homicides, Arkansas State Police arrested Kameron Reese on state Highway 7 following a “brief pursuit” somewhere near the rice fields east of Arkadelphia. Dash-cam footage of that pursuit showed investigators that Reese allegedly tossed a firearm from the vehicle. Police would go there on Jan. 13 to locate the firearm in a highway ditch, near the location where the gun was allegedly thrown from the vehicle.
Reese, according to court documents, told police that a “frantic” Chandler Langstaff had called asking Reese to come to his apartment, where both Langstaff brothers got into Reese’s vehicle. Chase Langstaff, who allegedly was in possession of a firearm, relayed his involvement in the shooting as Reese drove them to their mother’s home, according to an affidavit. Reese is not being charged in connection with the homicides or robbery.
Chase Langstaff-Browning is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, each offense punishable by 5-20 years in prison. He entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday in a Clark County courtroom. Asked whether charges would be pursued against any others implicated as having involvement in the murders, Prosecutor Dan Turner told The Arkadelphian he doesn’t “anticipate making any further charges in the homicide case.”
Court documents do not detail when police went to Laroyce Browning’s Walnut Street home, but when they did they inquired of the Langstaff brothers what had happened on the night of the murders. Neither claimed involvement, and Browning told officers that she had picked them both up from their Lark Place apartment around 9:45 p.m. that evening and that they had been at her house since that time, an affidavit states.
Browning is charged with hindering apprehension.
All suspects who face charges have been released on bond.