Mario Easter

Mario Easter is charged with one capital murder in Columbia County, and is a suspect in a second homicide.

The death penalty will not be sought against Mario Easter, 39, who has been connected with two Columbia County homicides and charged with one of them.

A status hearing into Easter’s case was held Thursday in Columbia County Circuit Court.

Easter is charged with capital murder – which carries the maximum penalty of death – and possession of a firearm by certain persons.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Phillips told Circuit Court Judge David Talley that decisions have been made with how to proceed with the case.

“In this case, we have talked to the victim’s family and we will not be seeking the death penalty in this case,” Phillips said.

Easter’s attorney, Daren Nelson of El Dorado said he would like to have his client considered for a mental evaluation. Talley said to save time with the transfer of Easter back and forth from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, the court would wait for all the paperwork to get filed before bringing the case back on March 5.

Easter was charged in September 2019 of the August 6, 2019 shooting death of Stanley Levon Milner, 32.

Easter is also linked to a second Waldo homicide. Easter has not been formally charged with the murder of Wallace Tuner Jr., whose body was found on Columbia Road 58 near Waldo on Sunday Jan. 27, but is a suspect.

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