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Ex-deputy arrested for wife’s slaying

Former Lonoke County deputy sheriff Charlie Bryant could face the death penalty in the shooting death Thursday of his wife, Sharae, at their rural Lonoke County home. State police investigators arrested Bryant late Thursday.

Prosecuting attorney Chuck Graham said Bryant’s initial appearance in Circuit Court was Friday before Judge Sandy Huckabee; plea arraignment was set for 9 a.m. Jan. 21, 2014 and Bryant was ordered held without bond.

Graham said Saturday that Bryant is being held for capital murder although a charge has not yet been filed. With the investigation under way, the case against Bryant is still being developed and further discussion would be premature, he said.

“But there are only two choices for capital murder, life without parole or the death penalty,” Graham said.

Sheriff’s office public information officer Capt. Jim Kulesa said Saturday that Bryant had served as a part-time certified deputy, an unpaid position. However, at the beginning of the week Bryant had spoken with Lonoke County sheriff John Staley and, citing personal problems, asked to be taken off the duty roster, which Staley granted.

According to information from the Arkansas State Police, Bryant was arrested about 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19.

State Police and sheriff’s information is that at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 19, the sheriff’s office received a report of a shooting at a Watercrest Lane residence near Austin.

Staley, Kulesa and deputy Dennis Kackley responded to the report.

The officers found a “male resident” outside the residence with a gunshot wound to his stomach; the female resident was found deceased from a gunshot wound. The male subject was transported for medical treatments.

Kulesa said Saturday that after the female was found dead, the State Police were notified and the investigation was turned over to them.

The State Police report identified the male found outside the home as Charlie Bryant; the female, found near a vehicle parked at the home, was identified as Bryant’s wife, Sharae, who had also suffered a gunshot wound.

Bryant was transported to a local hospital for treatment, released, and then was arrested.

Sharae Bryant’s body, along with evidence recovered at the scene, was taken to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory.

The State Police report that the investigation is continuing.

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