Two Rudy half brothers have been charged with capital murder in the death of a 19-year-old Alma man who was found buried in a shallow grave.
Jonathan Bridgewater, 27, and Nicholas Barrows, 19, will be arraigned at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on a charge of capital murder and felony with a firearm enhancement.
Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune said capital murder is a class Y felony which carries the possible punishment of life without the possibility of parole or the death sentence. Felony with a firearm is an enhancement that could increase any sentence imposed by an additional 15 years.
McCune also charged Barrows with possession prohibited weapons, a class B felony that has a sentence range of five to 20 years, after pipe bombs were allegedly discovered by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department upon executing a search warrant at his Rudy residence.
Barrows and Bridgewater were arrested June 30 by Sheriff Ron Brown after the body of Jamison Lee Plum was discovered in a shallow grave.
According to the medical examiner’s office of the Arkansas State Crime Lab, Plum’s death was the result of multiple gunshot wounds.
McCune said he has not decided if the state will seek the death penalty.
“A decision on the death penalty will be decided later on after a complete and thorough investigation by the sheriff’s office,” McCune said. “In determining whether or not the death penalty will be sought, the state must try to determine if there are any aggravating circumstances as enumerated in the Arkansas Criminal Code, and if those aggravating circumstances outweigh beyond a reasonable doubt all mitigating circumstances found to exist.”
On June 30, Circuit Judge Gary R. Cottrell ruled there was enough evidence to hold Barrows and Bridgewater and set their bond at $250,000 each. The public defender’s office was appointed to represent the two.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Scott Houston told the judge that Barrows and Bridgewater planned the murder, dug a shallow grave ahead of time and lured the victim to the location to kill him.
Houston said the two believed the victim raped Barrows’ girlfriend.
Plum was found dead June 28 after Crawford County deputies executed a search warrant at the residences of Barrows and Bridgewater in the 4600 block of Arkansas 348 near Rudy.
Houston said the body was buried just eight to 10 inches in the ground about 60 yards behind Bridgewater’s home. The body was found with a cadaver dog, Brown said.