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Arkansas Man Gets 30-Year Sentence for Murdering ‘Victim Who Had Been in Fear’ of Him


Mark Austin Slaughter appears in a mugshot

An Arkansas man recently pleaded guilty to a fatal shooting that occurred in 2020. Now, he’s facing three decades in state prison.

Mark Austin Slaughter, 25, was quickly arrested for the incident that left 37-year-old Brandon Glen Broadway dead on Dec. 8, 2020.

According to his obituary, the deceased man was born in Okinawa, Japan, but he lived in the Bono-Jonesboro area of Arkansas for most of his life. He was a father of two, a manufacturing production worker and HVAC specialist as well as an avid deer hunter, woodworker, and musician.

“He also enjoyed collecting vinyl music albums, playing the guitar and sharing the music he loved,” the tribute to his cut-short life reads. “Brandon was a general ‘fix it’ guy who tinkered and puttered with an item until the issue was solved.”

Tragically, however, Broadway also lived in fear of his killer.

“During the interview, the victim’s wife revealed that the victim had been having issues with a subject by the name of Austin Slaughter, later identified as Mark Austin Slaughter, and that she and the victim had been in fear of Mr. Slaughter due to his anger toward the victim,” police wrote in a probable cause affidavit from February 2021.

In the document, law enforcement alleged that numerous witnesses who knew Broadway and Slaughter attested that the defendant had, at the time, taken to “carrying a handgun” that “matched the caliber shell casing” found at the scene of the shooting.

“Acquaintances of the victim described to me that the victim had been in fear for his and his families safety due to Mr. Slaughter,” the affidavit continues. “I also received witness statements stating that Mr. Slaughter was very angry at the victim, and that Mr. Slaughter had made alarming threats to them against the victim.”

Those threats eventually came to a head.

Police say they consulted surveillance footage that “allowed [them] to track the movements” of the defendant’s white work truck to the place where Broadway was eventually shot and killed–Gamble’s Home Furnishings. The victim had, moments earlier, parked there.

“A white truck with a modified bed, commonly used as a work truck, pulled into the parking lot just seconds after the Toyota Tacoma,” the probable cause affidavit states. “The work truck pulled up to the Toyota, driver door to driver door. The white work truck was there briefly before leaving the scene.”

The license plate on the white truck that fled, police alleged, was registered to Slaughter.

A multi-state manhunt ensued.

Slaughter was originally charged in a criminal information with murder in the first degree. A bench warrant was issued on that charge.

Ensuing investigation suggested the wanted man was traveling west.

Well before the end of the month, on Dec. 14, the defendant had been detained–apprehended in neighboring Oklahoma by the combined law enforcement efforts of the Jonesboro Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. He first appeared in court later that month. He was arraigned in early 2021.

Slaughter pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree earlier this month.

He was sentenced to 30 years by Second Circuit Judge Cindy Thyer and given credit for the 413 days he already spent in jail.

[image via Jonesboro Police Department]

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