$5 million bond set for suspect in Jonesboro double homicide

Victims identified, suspect in custody in Jonesboro double homicide

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A $5 million bond has been set for a suspect in a shooting that left a brother and sister dead in Jonesboro on Thursday.

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 certain person.

Rhatez Furlow (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
Rhatez Furlow (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office) (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)

Around 8 a.m. Thursday, officers were dispatched to the 400-block of Melrose Avenue, located between Belt Street and East Johnson 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.

Press Conference - Jonesboro Police Department - 7/18/19 19-6473 Double Homicide At approximately 8am on Thursday morning, Officers with the Jonesboro Police Department were dispatched to the 400 block of Melrose in reference to a subject finding two deceased inside of a residence. Upon arrival, an officer was directed to an apartment where he discovered two victims. CID was called to the scene to begin their investigation. Witnesses stated to investigators that around 11pm Wednesday night, they heard what sounded like gunshots in the area. Dispatch did not receive any phone calls during that time. Upon further investigation, 37 year old Kafena Russell and her 38 year old brother, Johnny Russell suffered from apparent gunshot wounds. They were pronounced dead at the scene and their bodies have been sent to the State Crime Lab. A suspect is in custody at this time. The investigation is still ongoing.

Posted by Jonesboro Police Department on Thursday, July 18, 2019

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.

Their bodies have been sent to the State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock.

Emotions run high after double homicide

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.

Jonesboro Police officers gained custody of a suspect from an outside agency late Thursday afternoon in connection to a...

Posted by Jonesboro Police Department on Friday, July 19, 2019

The Facebook post by the Jonesboro Police Department said that investigators sent Marked Tree Police a notification that they also needed to speak to Furlow about his connection to the murders of Kafena and Johnny Russell.

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.

Furlow is also facing multiple misdemeanor charges and and appeared in circuit court on Aug. 22 where his motion and plea hearing was set for Oct. 23 and Oct 24. His jury trial was scheduled for Nov. 12 through Nov. 22.

The Jonesboro Police Department has arrested a suspect in relation to the double homicide that occurred Wednesday...

Posted by Jonesboro Police Department on Thursday, July 18, 2019

During the investigation, Waterworth said witnesses heard shots fired around 11 p.m. Wednesday, but could not say if those alleged shots were connected to the homicides.

Sally Smith, public information officer for the police department, said this is the city’s fifth homicide this year.

On Jan. 2, Malcolm Jemison was fatally shot, and three others injured in a shooting in the 3500 block of Galaxy Street.

Jonesboro police continue to investigate this homicide and asks if the public has any information to call Jonesboro police at 870-935-5657 or Jonesboro Crimestoppers at 870-935-STOP (7867).

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