Officer Leonard “Sandy” Wall of Pine Bluff was pronounced dead at 3:50 p.m. Sunday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center at Little Rock, said Sheriff’s Department Major Greg Bolin.
Wall, an eight-year county employee, sustained multiple injuries when he was “jumped” and beaten by the three during a routine security check between 11:15 and 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson said. He was severely beaten Saturday night and taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center before being transferred to UAMS.
Wall was taken off life support Sunday afternoon and declared dead a short time later. His body was to be sent to the state Crime Lab for an autopsy.
The second officer, Gloria Wilburn, also of Pine Bluff, was taken to JRMC where she was treated and released, Bolin said. Wilburn went to check on Wall after he didn’t answer his radio and was also beaten by the three.
Bolin said Wall, about 58 or 59 years old, had gone to do a bed check on a cell occupied by three juveniles who were being held for the Arkansas Department of Youth Services when he was either pushed or pulled into the cell, and beaten by the three young men.
They were identified as Christopher Beverage, 16, of Fordyce, Nicolas Dismuke, 15, of Helena, and Brandon Henderson, 18, of Fort Smith.
The three juveniles took Wall’s keys to the building’s cells and doors, then fled from the juvenile center at 301 E. Second Ave., Robinson said.
A man and woman in a 1995 Chrysler Concord stopped at the Speedway Food Mart, 410 N. Walnut St., just west of the juvenile center, said they were forced from the vehicle by the trio, who also stole cash, then fled in the car.
Robinson said the stolen car was later recovered between Morrilton and Clarksville off Interstate 40.
Jefferson County investigators went to Fort Smith where they located and arrested Beverage and Dismuke at about 5 p.m. Sunday.
Officers in Sebastian County continued to press the search for Henderson, who was considered dangerous, in the Fort Smith area, Robinson said.
Beverage was being held at the juvenile center on charges of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, residential burglary and theft of property.
Dismuke was being held on charges of aggravated robbery and attempted robbery, and Henderson was being held on charges of aggravated assault, criminal use of a prohibited weapon, failure to appear, and battery.
Bolin said the escape was reported at 11:02 p.m. Saturday, and officers from the Pine Bluff Police Department and Arkansas State Police responded, as well as sheriff’s deputies.
He said Beverage and Dismuke will be returned to Jefferson County where they will be held pending a court hearing and the filing of formal charges by the prosecuting attorney’s office.
An investigation into the escape is continuing, Bolin said.