Two men arrested in Arkansas last month in the shooting death of a 29-year-old aspiring rapper were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on murder charges.

A McLennan County grand jury indicted Casey Wade Hughes, 21, of Dayton, and Justice Allen Stanford, 25, of Teague, in the shooting death of Preston Jermone Scott, 29. If convicted, both men face up to life in prison.

Waco police were first called to the East Waco intersection of Dallas Street and Carver Avenue on April 1, where they found a man with a gunshot wound to the back of the head. Officer later identified the man as Scott, better known as PJ OneEight, a local aspiring rapper.

According to court records, Stanford was attempting to get money for a car he owed to a man in the Moody area. In trying to get money, Stanford and Hughes allegedly arranged to buy an “illegal substance” from Scott at an East Waco apartment complex, according to arrest affidavits in the case.

In the deal, Scott got into Stanford’s car, and a person in the back seat put a gun to his head, according to the affidavits. After that, a man who was with Scott before he got in the car ran back to an apartment and told a friend “they got PJ,” police reports state.

Gunshots were heard coming from the intersection before the car fled the area. Sixteen days later, Hughes and Stanford were arrested in Clinton, Arkansas.

The pair were extradited from the Van Buren County Detention Center in Arkansas to the McLennan County Jail on murder charges four weeks after their arrest.

Stanford remained jailed Wednesday on a murder charge filed by Waco police and a Class A misdemeanor theft charge and state jail felony unauthorized use of a vehicle charge filed by Moody police. Hughes remained in custody on a murder charge.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

Recommended for you