A year after a fight at South Side Park in Magnolia led to three people being shot, Zakari J. Williamson was sentenced to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for the crime.
Williamson, 19, was convicted in 13th District Court proceedings held by Judge David Talley Jr. on June 2.
In addition to his prison sentence, Williamson received a 16-year suspended sentence. This means that if he committed any other felonies or crimes during this time, the judge can order any sentence within the full range of sentences for the crime convicted.
He was charged by the Deputy State Attorney with first-degree assault and flight in a dangerous vehicle. He was represented by attorney Lott Rolfe whose practice is in North Little Rock.
According to the probable cause affidavit, on June 2, 2021, at approximately 4:20 p.m., Central Dispatch notified Magnolia police of an ongoing fight at South Side Park on Calhoun Street in Magnolia. About three minutes later, dispatchers advised of reported gunshots in the park.
One of the first officers on the scene was Magnolia Police Sgt. Liz Colvin.
Colvin saw many vehicles leaving the park and observed a black Ford Mustang with white stripes parked in the middle of the road in front of the park gates. The driver’s side door was open and a young man was hanging out the door.
Although Colvin attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver took off with his door still open, according to the affidavit.
Colvin observed the vehicle around the corner moving north on Calhoun toward Kennedy Street at high speed.
The officer saw the Mustang pass a vehicle traveling in the same direction on a double yellow lane road, which is the no-passing lane, and head into oncoming traffic when it struck another vehicle in this way.
Colvin saw the driver, later identified as Williamson, get out of the vehicle and walk into the yard of 1005 South Calhoun and fall into the grass screaming. A crowd began to gather around Williamson, and Colvin asked for help with crowd control, according to the affidavit.
An ambulance was called for Williamson and he was transported to Magnolia Regional Medical Center.
While waiting for the ambulance, Colvin tried to calm Williamson down, but became combative and furious as he shouted at a white truck parked on Kennedy Street.
Colvin asked Williamson who was in the white truck, but he wouldn’t say and said they were shooting him and his brother, whom he didn’t identify.
Colvin and another officer finally calmed Williamson down and asked him to sit down. Colvin drove to the vehicle which had a hood broken from the accident, a bullet hole in the hood of the car, another in the driver’s door near the window, and another in the driver’s door below the floor. Colvin observed that the bullet that was higher in the door did not exit through the door, the one lower to the floor went through the door into the interior of the car and into the carpet under the stereo area.
Colvin asked Williamson what happened and why he ran away. The affidavit says Williamson said he knew Colvin had stopped behind him and was rushing to look for his brother.
Colvin found a debit card in the car and Williamson said the car belonged to his brother. The card bore the nickname “Nuski” as well as Kenterrius Cooper.
Colvin filled out a vehicle inventory sheet and observed a silver gun magazine under the passenger seat in the vehicle. The vehicle was transported from the scene by Smith and Sons Wrecker Service to the Magnolia Police Department.
While Colvin was at the scene with Williamson, Magnolia Police Lt. Josh Miller and Magnolia Police Officer Jamie Whitaker secured South Side Park.
They were both able to find shell casings in the park and in a car park at Henderson Mortuary on the north side of Calhoun Road.
Miller had officers block Calhoun Road to hold the evidence. Thirty-six casings were found on the spot as well as a red mobile phone.
A gold chain with the letter “D” was located inside South Side Park. A camouflage Croc shoe was located on Calhoun Road, just west of the park, the affidavit states.
While making and collecting evidence, Whitaker observed two bullet holes in the residence at 609 Calhoun Road.
At approximately 5:12 p.m., Magnolia Police Chief Todd Dew was contacted by a cooperative witness who was near South Side Park when the incident occurred.
The witness reported hearing numerous shots fired from the park and seeing a thin young man standing next to a black Mustang which had white writing along the lower sides of the car. The car was parked in the driveway at the entrance to the park. The witness reported that the man was firing a handgun from the front of the car, near the passenger side, and he fired six to eight rounds. He then went to the driver’s side, sat in the driver’s seat and drove off, according to the affidavit.
The witness said the driver fired the gun and fired towards the Henderson Funeral Home.
Dew was informed of a second witness and this witness testified that he heard a gunshot while at the Blackmon Barber and Beauty Shop. This witness reported seeing a man in a white T-shirt getting out of a black Mustang that was parked at the entrance to the park.
The man ran to a white car, then climbed into the driver’s side back seat. The car then drove off. The second witness reported that numerous shots were fired during this incident.
The Mustang the second witness saw was the same vehicle Williamson was driving when he fled the scene. The vehicle was towed from the scene by Smith and Sons and transported to the Magnolia Police Department.
Miller arrived at the police department and secured the vehicle with duct tape on the Mustang’s doors, trunk and roof.
While Lt. Miller was at the scene in South Side Park, Magnolia Police Detective Bill Schaefer attended the hospital emergency room where he learned that three victims had been shot and grazed. The ages of the victims were 10 years old and two were 19 years old. Schaefer spoke with the victims at the hospital. After Williamson was released from the hospital, he was transported to the Magnolia Police Department. Williamson was informed of his rights and he signed a rights form and said he understood.
Williamson was asked about what happened and he said that when he got off work he and another guy went to the park to meet Kenterrius Cooper. Williamson said while he was at the park a bunch of guys came and jumped on them.
Williamson said after the fight, four people drove back in a white van. Williamson said two came out with guns. Williamson said they started shooting Cooper. Williamson also said he got a gun from an unknown person and started shooting
return. Williamson told police he then got into the driver’s seat of the vehicle and tried to drive away. He said he saw the officer when he left. Williamson said he was only trying to look for his brother when he left.
Williamson’s 1st degree battery charge is a class B felony.
According to the law, the sentence cannot be less than five years or more than 20.
Fleeing by vehicle is a class D felony and the sentence cannot exceed six years.