Arrest made, some questions answered, in Lake Highlands car wash murder

Suspect Jeryll Smalley

Police have arrested Jeryll Dewayne Smalley, 39, for the May murder of Christopher Carraway, 36. Smalley was the brother of the victim’s girlfriend (unnamed in documents); she ostensibly cooperated with investigators, helping them bring murder charges against her brother.

Just past 11 p.m. May 5, first responders found an unconscious Carraway in the darkest reaches of a car wash at 9601 Plano Road in Lake Highlands. He was “badly injured,” Dallas Police information officers stated at the time, and was promptly pronounced dead at Presbyterian Hospital.

When detectives arrested Smalley in Sulpher Springs June 2, he admitted to killing his sister’s boyfriend, though we do not know the specific motive.

According to the arrest warrant, homicide detectives concluded that on May 5 Smalley stabbed Carraway and dumped the dying man in the rear lot of the Gator Car Wash. The confessed killer might have known pretty quickly that he was in trouble. Both security cameras and employees of the next door Sonic Drive-In observed Smalley’s black Dodge Durango, lights off, pull up alongside a dumpster past the last car wash bay. A man exited the vehicle, walked to the passenger side, then returned to the driver side to reposition the vehicle, blocking the view of Sonic workers and cameras, the report notes. After one employee moved his own vehicle the security camera field of vision improves.

And after lingering several minutes, the Dodge driver pulls away, at which point a motionless body is visible alongside the dumpster. The Dodge driver moves slowly and stops, as if he has noticed the employees inside Sonic watching him (and “as if he is watching them”), according to the warrant. He idles for a moment or two, then, exactly one minute after exiting the lot, he made the 911 call to report a body.

Victim Chris Carraway (public Facebook profile)

When homicide detective “Tabor” spoke to Smalley on the phone at 1:27 a.m., Smalley could not offer a good reason for leaving the crime scene prior to the detective’s arrival. Smalley also claimed he did not know the victim—a big lie. Police on May 8 interviewed Smalley’s sister who was Carraway’s girlfriend. In fact, she told police, her brother, Smalley, and her boyfriend, Carraway, left her residence together the night of Carraway’s death; she let them drive her vehicle, the Dodge Durango.

She did not see her car, boyfriend or brother again.

The Dodge later was found in Arkansas with fake plates and has been impounded as evidence. Smalley is in Lew Sterrett Jail on a $250,000 bond. Christopher Carraway’s family and friends are still mourning his death.

Smalley has a history of felony charges: one for possession of a controlled substance, two for possession with intent to distribute and one charge of evading arrest.

We will report any new information we receive about this case.


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