Police: Man killed over butter bean feud in Arkansas

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WEST HELENA, Ark. (WREG) — A long-running dispute involving the alleged theft of a man’s butter beans erupted into a deadly shooting at a convenience store Tuesday night.

Wednesday, Helena-West Helena police announced that Curtis Holder was charged with 1st-degree murder in the death of 63-year-old Samuel Chatman.

Curtis Holder

“He didn’t deserve that. He didn’t deserve that at all,” said Chaquita Green, the victim’s common law wife. “If he could help you, he could help you. He was a real sweet guy. He was the love of my life. He helped me. God knows in heaven.”

According to police, the two had argued, and Curtis pulled a gun and shot Chatman in the head.

Green said the weeklong feud between the pair involved Holder allegedly stealing butter beans and other vegetables from Chatman’s garden, which she says Chatman loved to work in.

“He approached him and asked him about coming into his yard stealing his stuff, his product. That’s when they started having an argument,” Green said. “One thing led to another.”

Police arrested Holder outside the Landino Street market shortly after the shooting, and they recovered a .38-caliber pistol.

“You never want to see violence like this here, nowhere around here,” said the Rev. Julious McGruder, pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, less than 50 yards from where the crime happened.

He said both men have been to his church and now his heart is breaking for both families.

“It’s just like taking both of them’s life,” he said. “One gonna go to jail and one gonna go to the cemetery. It’s a trying time, but God is able.”

Holder is in the Phillips County Detention Center under a $450,000 bond.

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