Monday, December 23, 2013

TOP STORY >> Austin killing captured on security tape

Leader staff writer

The Dec. 19 shooting death of an Austin woman was caught on tape.

Charles R. Bryant, 38, told State Police investigators that he shot and killed his wife Sharae Bryant, 34, after she shot him. But the surveillance tape that investigators retrieved from his home shows that he shot her in the head and then shot himself, presumably to support his claim of self defense.

Special Agent Kevin Webb with the Arkansas State Police wrote in the affidavit for Bryant’s arrest that the tape from the outside surveillance camera showed Sharae Bryant putting the couple’s infant daughter in a car seat in a white Ford Expedition before going back into the couple’s home at 30 Watercrest Lane in Austin.

At about that same time, the tape showed Charles Bryant getting something from his red Dodge pickup and then going back inside.

The tape then showed Sharae running outside followed by Charles, who chased her around her vehicle.

“When Elizabeth Sharae Bryant reached the driver’s door, Charles Byrant approached (her) and the surveillance recording showed him stand over her and shoot (her) in the head,” Webb wrote.

“Charles Bryant then walked approximately 10 feet away. The surveillance recording then showed (him) shoot himself in the center area of his body. (He) fell to the ground. (He) crawled back to the body ... and it appeared that he placed something by her body. (He) crawled back to the area that he shot himself and laid down,” Webb wrote.

Sharae Bryant was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency personnel and police found her in the driveway beside her SUV at 8:34 a.m. Charles Bryant was interviewed at Springhill Baptist Hospital in North Little Rock, where he was treated and released for a gunshot wound in his side.

A short time later, he was arrested for capital murder and taken to the Lonoke County Jail, where he is being held without bond until his plea and arraignment set for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21.

According to the affidavit for Bryant’s arrest, he told Lt. Stacie Rhodes with the State Police that he and his wife had argued before he took his two sons to school, leaving the oldest son and the infant daughter at home with her.

When he returned, his wife put the baby in the SUV and at some point, she also took a holstered 9-mm semiautomatic pistol from a nightstand drawer and then went outside. He followed with a .380 semi-automatic pistol.

Once outside, Charles Bryant said Share Bryant shot him once and he returned fire, shooting her one time in the head.

Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley, who was among those who responded to the 911 call about the shooting, immediately turned the case over to the State Police. Staley said Bryant had been a reserve deputy until about a week before the shooting, when he resigned.