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Police release photos of Marianna homicide suspects

Police release photos of Marianna homicide suspects

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MARIANNA — The Marianna Police Department released photos of two people they say were involved in a recent homicide.

The wanted men have been identified as Terry Royston and Darren Smith.

Witnesses in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred reported the incident was sparked last Thursday night when 40-year-old Isreal Gordon made his way to the California Street mobile home to help resolve a dispute between two other people. At some point things apparently escalated, and Gordon was killed. The Marianna Police Department is investigating but has not verified those claims.

The Marianna Police chief said Gordon was not the intended target, and the shooting stemmed from an argument between Royston and Smith involving a monetary bet. The police chief said the trailer where the shooting happened is known to be a location for illegal gambling.

Both Royston and Smith were charged with capital murder, according to Marianna Police, and the United States Marshals will be assisting in the search for the pair.

Anyone with information on Royston and/or Smith’s whereabouts or other information that might assist in this investigation is urged to contact the Marion Police Department at (870) 295-2508.

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STONE COUNTY — An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was killed Thursday morning in a shooting that left one other person wounded and the suspected killer dead, police said. Mike Stephens, 56, was identified as the Stone County Sheriff’s deputy who was killed in the incident, Arkansas State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler said at a press conference. Samuel Fullerton, the suspected shooter, was also killed in the incident, but it was not immediately clear whether the 39-year-old took his own life or if he was shot by other deputies.

Stephens was a 20-year veteran of law enforcement and a U.S. Army veteran, Stone County Chief Deputy Sheriff Zach Alexander said at the press conference.

“Every action that he’s ever done, he always would be the first guy in somewhere and last one out,” Alexander said. Authorities were called to a home in the rural area of Leslie at 8:02 a.m. over a domestic welfare check, Sadler said. Stephens arrived at 8:39 a.m. and encountered a woman who he began talking to before gunfire quickly erupted. Two other deputies were also at the home when shots were fired.

Stephens was pronounced dead at the scene. The woman, who was not identified, was wounded and taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to Sadler.

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$5 million bond set for suspect, victims ID’d in Jonesboro double homicide

JONESBORO — A $5 million bond has been set for a suspect in a shooting that left a brother and sister dead in Jonesboro last week.

On Friday, 30-year-old Rhatez Furlow was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Around 8 a.m. Thursday, officers were dispatched to the 400-block of Melrose Avenue. Police were driving through the area when a neighbor flagged them down.

The neighbor then led them to an open apartment where officers discovered two bodies lying on the floor.

Jonesboro police Sgt. Lyle Waterworth said during a news conference Thursday that Kafena Russell, 37, and her 38-year-old brother, Johnny Russell, were found dead inside the apartment of apparent gunshot wounds.

According to the Jonesboro Police Department, Furlow was apprehended by Marked Tree Police as the lead suspect in an incident that happened in their jurisdiction also on Thursday.

He was then transferred into the custody of the Jonesboro Police Department, brought back to Jonesboro for questioning, and was booked into the Craighead County Detention Center.

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