Gosnell man appears in court on rape charge - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Gosnell man appears in court on rape charge

Posted: Updated:
Freddie Sharp III (Source: Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington's Office) Freddie Sharp III (Source: Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington's Office)
Christopher Sowell (Mississippi County Sheriff's Department) Christopher Sowell (Mississippi County Sheriff's Department)
  • Inside KAIT8.comMore>>

  • Gosnell community reacts to second arrest in murder case

    Gosnell community reacts to second arrest in murder case

    Tuesday, January 14 2014 7:15 PM EST2014-01-15 00:15:06 GMT
    GOSNELL, AR (KAIT)-  According to Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, a second arrest has been made in the case of 11-year-old Jessica Williams of Gosnell.The Gosnell community is devastated and hopes
    According to Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, a second arrest has been made in the case of 11-year-old Jessica Williams of Gosnell. The Gosnell community is devastated and hopes the police can finally solve this case and give the family a little closure.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Worker dies after falling off I-40 bridge

    Worker dies after falling off I-40 bridge

    Saturday, August 23 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-08-23 13:39:13 GMT
    (WMC) - Arkansas State Police say it appears a construction or repair worker has fallen off the I-40 bridge near West Memphis. The worker may be alive, and crews are working to get him or her out of the
    Arkansas State Police say a construction or repair worker fell off the Hernando DeSoto bridge on Interstate 40 near West Memphis on Friday.
  • BREAKING

    Jonesboro police chief suspended without pay

    Jonesboro police chief suspended without pay

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:39 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:39:06 GMT
    Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates was suspended without pay for a month by Mayor Harold Perrin for comments made about a Jonesboro news reporter.
    Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates was suspended without pay for a month by Mayor Harold Perrin for comments made about a Jonesboro news reporter.
  • Arkansas man catches 3 bears on game camera

    Arkansas man catches 3 bears on game camera

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-08-23 04:08:20 GMT
    One man getting ready for deer and turkey season in Arkansas stumbled upon something much larger.
    One man getting ready for deer and turkey season in Arkansas stumbled upon something much larger.

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – A Gosnell man arrested for rape in the case of 11-year-old Jessica Williams appeared in court Wednesday, and was given another court date.

Freddie Sharp III was in Blytheville District Court Wednesday morning, where he was charged with rape. A gag order has been placed on the case.

A judge ordered Sharp to have no contact with Williams' family or any minor child if he made bond. He would also have to wear an electronic monitoring device if released.

Sharp, 29, of Gosnell was arrested by the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department and Arkansas State Police. He is now being represented by Trumann attorney Chet Dunlap.

DNA evidence collected during an autopsy of Williams' body by the Arkansas State Crime Lab matched Sharp's, according to Prosecutor Scott Ellington. Sharp's DNA was among samples collected by investigators.

A court document released by Ellington's office states investigators received notice of the match on Jan. 10.

The document also states Sharp denied rape.

Also on Jan. 10, the teenager charged with 1st degree murder in the death of Williams was released from jail on a $25,000 bond, according to court documents obtained by Region 8 News.

Christopher Sowell, 17, of Gosnell was arrested on August 28, 2013. Originally, his bond was set at two million dollars. Sowell has plead not guilty.

An affidavit released by the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department in 2013, stated Sowell admitted to investigators that he killed Jessica Williams. He told officers he became angry and pushed the girl off the bridge onto the ground. Sowell then said when Jessica got back on the bridge, she said she was going to tell her dad what happened.

According to the affidavit, Sowell told investigators he became even more angry and choked her. Sowell then said he pushed the girl over the side of the bridge into the water and walked away.

An autopsy report suggested Williams' death was caused by strangulation and drowning. She went missing on the night of Aug. 27, 2013 around 6 p.m. but was not reported missing until 9 p.m.

Williams' body was found in a floodway ditch on East County Road 122 near Big Lake on the morning of Aug. 28.

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

472 Craighead Co. 766
Jonesboro, AR 72401
(870) 931-8888

FCC Public File
publicfile@kait8.com
(870) 336-1816
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KAIT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.