MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with the murder of three people in St. Francis, Arkansas.
According to a report from the St. Francis County Sheriff, a family member requested a welfare check on Nov. 28 after being told that a shooting had happened at a home on Gore Street in Crow Creek, outside Forrest City.
When officers couldn’t make contact with anyone inside, they forced entry.
Once inside, deputies found the bodies of three people who had been shot dead. Family members and deputies identified the victims as 12-year-old Kelsie Thompson, 34-year-old Shalanda Barton, and 31-year-old Ja’Terrance Wright.
A 4-year-old girl who was in the house during the shootings was not injured.
While investigating, multiple shell casings were found inside the home. Investigators also later discovered that Barton’s black Cadillac was parked near the home of the suspect’s girlfriend.
Evidence collected by investigators was tested and matched with 17-year-old Jonathan Rolfe.
On Tuesday, Rolfe was arrested and charged with three counts of capital murder and one count of theft of property.
Thursday’s press conference was an emotional time for family members.
“I’m happy that this process for justice is beginning. I do understand it is an arduous process that will be quite lengthy,” said JaTerrance Wright’s cousin Clerece Jackson.
Jackson said her cousin and Shalonda Barton had been dating for about a year.
No motive has been given but Jackson said what Rolfe is accused of is nothing short of heartbreaking.
“I understand that Ja’Terrance was a stranger to him, however, to know that he could kill his mother and sibling in cold blood, in such a way, is really hard to wrap my mind and understand that,” Jackson said.
Rolfe is being held without bond in the Craighead County Juvenile Detention Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas until he is returned to St. Francis County.