Shooter Gets 30-Year Sentence In Rogers Murder

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A Pea Ridge man received a 30-year prison sentence Friday morning for shooting and killing a Rogers man in 2011.

Darin Michael Etherton, 28, pleaded guilty in Benton County Circuit Court to shooting Brent Test in the head twice in May 2011. Etherton faced the possibility of life in prison, but reached a deal with the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office.

Cenia Duvall, the woman living with Test, found the victim lying on the floor in a pool of blood in their home. He was rushed to the hospital, but died, according to court documents.

During the course of a police investigation, several eyewitnesses told police Test and Etherton had engaged in a physical altercation about a month earlier after the tires on Test’s truck were slashed.

Detectives also discovered Etherton had been stopped by police the day before Test’s death on suspicion of driving off without paying at a gas station. During the stop, officers discovered a box of .22 caliber ammunition in the back seat, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Benton County Circuit Court.

A .22 caliber Ruger Bearcat revolver was later recovered that eyewitnesses told police belonged to Etherton. A ballistics test on a bullet that killed Test and a bullet fired from Etherton’s gun showed a match on gun barrel markings, according to the affidavit.

Police were able to retrieve a text message Etherton sent to Test two days before Test was killed that said, “need money (expletive) I owe u this darin”. Eyewitnesses told police Test asked friends to stay with him after receiving the text message from Etherton.

Etherton was arrested and charged with capital murder.