Man charged in West Memphis murder - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man charged in West Memphis murder

Lester Thomas (Source: West Memphis PD) Lester Thomas (Source: West Memphis PD)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

A man faces a first-degree murder charge after a man was found dead behind a home in West Memphis, Arkansas. 

Lester Thomas, 39, was arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder.

Crime scene tape is stretched across two houses on Balfour Road.

Neighbors said they didn't hear anything unusual.

"Something serious happened. They found a body in the back yard,” neighbor Cathy Underwood said.

Detectives secured the house and all those inside the home at the time. Several individuals that were at the home were detained for interviews.

"I looked outside and saw all of the officers. They had guns in their hands and I just, I stayed inside,” neighbor Tasha Elridge said.

Underwood said her sister and brother-in-law live at the address, along with another relative and three young children who are her sister-in-law’s grandchildren.

"They were sitting on my son's bumper crying. They left in a police car,” Underwood said.

David Allen lives next door. He said he drove by and everything seemed fine until he came back an hour later.

"There were cops everywhere, so I got really concerned because my daughter was at home,” Allen said.

Neighbors said the man appears to have been bludgeoned to death. They also said first responders took a woman away from the home in an ambulance. 

Underwood said the family moved to West Memphis from Oklahoma City a year ago and moved into the house two months ago. She does not know who the man is or what happened.

"It's awful. You never think it could happen to your family.”

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