By Ed Galucki
Arkansas State Police investigators last week released the affidavit in the arrest of former Lonoke County Sheriff’s deputy Charles Bryant. The capital murder arrest was in the Dec. 19 shooting death of his wife Sharae Bryant at the rural Lonoke County home the couple shared.
Bryant made an initial appearance in Lonoke County Circuit Court on Dec. 20 before Circuit Judge Sandy Huckabee. Bryant was ordered held without bond, and plea arraignment was set for Jan. 21, 2014.
Prosecuting attorney Chuck Graham has not announced whether he would seek the death penalty in the case.
But, there are only two sentences possible for capital murder, life in prison without parole or death, he said.
State police investigators were called to the Bryants’ Watercrest Lane home, east of Cabot, Dec. 19 when deputies responding to a report of a shooting found Sharae Bryant’s body.
According to the affidavit, Sharae Bryant had an apparent gunshot wound to the head; Charlie Bryant was found nearby with a single gunshot wound to his side.
Bryant was interviewed by investigators while he was at the hospital for treatment of his wound. He was released later that day.
Bryant told investigators that after he and Sharae had had an argument that morning, he had taken two of their children to school, leaving the oldest and youngest children home with Sharae.
On his return, Bryant said Sharae had placed the infant in one of their vehicles, and "at some point" had picked up a handgun kept in the house. Bryant said he had also retrieved a handgun and followed Sharae outside, at which time she shot him once. He said he returned fire, shooting her once.
Investigators, acting on a search warrant, reviewed a surveillance video of the property.
In the video, Sharae Bryant was seen placing the infant in the vehicle and returning to the house. At about the same time, Charlie Bryant was seen retrieving something from his truck and going inside the house.
Sharae Bryant was then seen running from the house with Charles Bryant chasing her around "the vehicle;" which vehicle was not specified.
When Sharae Bryant reached the driver’s door, Charles Bryant was seen to approach her, stand over her, and then shoot.
Bryant was then seen to walk about 10 feet away, shoot himself and fall to the ground. After crawling to Sharae Bryant, Bryant returned to the area where he shot himself and laid down.
Last week, sheriff’s public information officer Lt. Jim Kulesa confirmed that until about Dec. 16 Bryant had served as a part-time certfied deputy, an unpaid position. However, Bryant asked Sheriff John Staley to remove him from the duty roster, citing personal problems. Kulesa said Staley had granted the request.
Funeral services for Sharae Elizabeth Bryant, 34, were held Dec. 27. She is survived by her children, Cole, Carson, Charlie Mac, and Cate of Austin; parents; brother, Brett Jones of Little Rock; sister, Christa Attaway and husband Brandon of Conway; grandparents, David and Sharon Barnett and Marvin R. Jones all of Beebe.
Memorial donations may be made to the Sharae Bryant Children’s Trust account at any Centennial Bank location.