Howard Dallas Short II pleaded not guilty Monday afternoon to first-degree murder in the August death of 64-year-old Michael Wayne Robb.
Short, 38, entered the plea before Faulkner County Circuit Judge Mike Maggio.
Robb, of Greenbrier, was found dead in his residence at 27 Wilson Road on Aug. 6 by authorities after being reported missing by his sister.
During the investigation of the home, Faulkner County Sheriff’s deputies learned of activity on Robb’s bank account after he was reported missing, and discovered his truck missing.
Short and the missing vehicle were located in Atkins by an off-duty police officer later the same night, according to authorities. Short, also of Greenbrier, was apprehended after authorities say he led them on a high-speed pursuit through three counties on Interstate 40, which resulted in a felony fleeing charge.
Authorities say Short admitted to killing Robb while being interviewed by investigators Aug. 8.
Due to Short’s prior felony convictions, the defendant is being charged under the habitual offender law.
Short, currently being held in lieu of a $2 million bond, recently pleaded guilty to three charges from two prior cases involving stolen checks, including one case which listed Robb as the victim.
Arkansas Department of Correction records also show Short was released just days before his alleged victim was found dead.
ADC records indicate Short was released from ADC custody May 11, 2012, and was arrested May 9, 2013, for absconding. Short was then transferred to the Omega Technical Violator Center in Malvern on May 30, and was released Aug. 1.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charles Finkenbinder said discovery in the case was nearing completion.
Short, represented by Deputy Public Defender Lorie Mason, was scheduled for another pretrial hearing Nov. 4.