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Judge sets $1 million bond for murder suspect
JASPER - by Steve W Stewart/KJAS and Rayburn Broadcasting
Jasper Police have released new details, along with the names of the victim and the alleged shooter after a Wednesday evening homicide. Police Chief Robert MacDonald says three people are in custody, and one has now been charged with murder.
Police say the crime occurred shortly before 5:00 on the north side of town in the 1300 block of North Bowie Street. Police say the victim, 19-year-old O'Brien L. Parks, was shot in the neck through a window at his aunt's house.
Parks was rushed by ambulance to Christus Jasper Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time after arrival.
Police later said that Officer Lawson Dry located a vehicle in the 900 block of Avenue A, described as a Mercedes Benz SUV, just over an hour after the shooting, and two suspects were found in the vehicle and detained for questioning after Sargent Gary Pullen located marijuana. Meanwhile, a third person, 18-year-old Ridarrion Armstrong, who it has now been confirmed was the suspected gunman, turned himself in at police headquarters a short time later.
On Thursday afternoon, Armstrong appeared before Municipal Judge Robert Jackson and was officially charged with murder. His bond was set at $1 million dollars, and he was later transferred to the Jasper County Jail.
Meanwhile, MacDonald said the other two men, who have not been identified, also remain in custody and are expected to be charged with drug offenses that are not related to the shooting.
Early Thursday afternoon, Officer Dry said he received an anonymous tip which led him to a shotgun, which is believed to be the murder weapon. Dry said the gun was located in front of an abandoned house at an undisclosed location.
Chief MacDonald also released some new details about the case. According to MacDonald, Parks and Armstrong were involved in a physical altercation about two months ago, in which "Armstrong whipped the victim (Parks)". However, MacDonald said Parks then used a knife to cut or stab Armstrong.
MacDonald said police tried to investigate, but neither Parks nor Armstrong would cooperate and both refused to give statements to investigators, so the case never went anywhere.