Family Speaks out About Bentonville Murder


A teenager is behind bars after police say he killed a man in a Bentonville hotel.
The victim’s girlfriend and mother speaking out saying the murder was gang-related.

Walter James Bryan,18 of Rogers, was arrested early this morning for first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, intimidating a witness, and tampering with physical evidence. 

“I know that he was supposed to come home that night.,” said the victim’s girlfriend, Bella Black.

After Tyler Garska, 22, never came home, Garska’s girlfriend started to wonder.

“I went to sleep and woke up and saw a Facebook post Tuesday morning with his family posting about it and I was confused,” Black said.

According to Bentonville Police, Garksa was shot and killed after being robbed by Bryan at the Super 8 Motel in Bentonville on Tuesday.

Black is 32 weeks pregnant with Garska child, she said she spoke to Bryan after he confessed to her that he killed Garska. 

“I called up Walter because that was just my guess, I thought he was with Walter. He tells me that he’s sorry for my loss and that he tried to stop it, and I said stop what? I was just confused. Now it all falls into place after he was arrested,” Black said. 

The victim’s mother says she knew that Bryan and her son had been involved in gangs for years. 

“He was actually someone that Tyler and I guess friends, but they were actually from rival gangs,” Garska’s mother, Tracey McCormick said. 

McCormick said the death of her son was a dispute over drugs that went south, ending up with Bryan pulling the trigger.

“This kid has called me two days in a row before he was arrested apologizing a thousand times,” McCormick said. 

The loss of a son and significant other has also left a soon to be a child without a father, with both members of the family leaving behind one message.

“It’s glamorized on tv, they get into this and they don’t realize how serious it is until it’s too late,” McCormick said. 

“If you think this gang banging life is cool, and doing dope, it’s not I’m just so tired of it,” Black said. 

Bryan is currently being held at the Benton County Jail with no bond set. 

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