Leader Blues

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

TOP STORY > >Probe continues to focus on trio for mass killings

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader senior staff writer

Maj. Andy Shock of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office refused Tuesday to confirm that Ronald Dean Charles, formerly of Jacksonville and Cabot, was the informant and person who told investigators he killed 15 people in three states and led to another man’s arrest last week.

If Shock couldn’t confirm it, neither could he deny it.

“I can’t confirm or deny anything,” said Shock, spokesman for the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office, when asked if he could deny that Charles was the informant and the man who had confessed.

A source familiar with the situation has identified Charles, 31, as the man who led Jacksonville Police to the remains of a woman on the property of Wright’s Cabinets on Cory Road and who identified George Alan Smith, 31, in connection with the woman’s death.

Smith, a former employee at Wright’s Cabinets, was arrested by Jacksonville Police and is currently in the Pulaski County Detention Center in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

Charles is currently awaiting trial with Troy Crook, 29, of Jacksonville, charged with killing cousins Bobby Don Brock, 45, and Lonnie Franklin Brock, 62, near Vilonia last spring, according to documents on file at the Faulkner County Courthouse.

Both Charles and Crook had been in the Faulkner County Jail, but Charles was moved to the Clinton Jail last week.

Although they think they know the identity of the woman whose body was found near the cabinet shop, they won’t identify her until her remains have been positively identified by the state Medical Examiner’s Office, according to April Kiser, a public information officer.

Kiser also refused to say what the suspected murder weapon or weapons were and where police found them.

Charles is believed to have led police not only to the body, but also to the suspected murder weapons.

She said Jacksonville police are not looking for any other bodies.

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, which spent about two days looking for a second body in northern Pulaski County near Jacksonville, have called off their search and don’t expect to continue unless new evidence is discovered, according to spokesman John Rehrauer.

For the Brock killings, Charles and Crook are charged with two counts each of capital murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of theft of property and two counts of being felons in possession of a firearm in connection with the deaths of the Brock cousins.

Firearms were among items allegedly stolen by the pair during commission of the crimes, according to the felony information on file with the Faulkner County Circuit Clerk.