Leader Blues

Friday, October 10, 2008

TOP STORY > >Victim’s body is identified, more sought

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader senior staff writer

The woman whose remains were recently found near the Wright Cabinet shop in Jacksonville has been identified as Sandra Ann Givens of White County, who would have been 32 at the time of her murder a year ago. So far law-enforcement officials have nothing to say regarding as many as 14 other murders allegedly committed by the same suspects in at least two other states, according to Lt. Matt Rice of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office.

George Alan Smith, 33, of Jacksonville has been charged in Pulaski County with capital murder in connection with Givens’ death, but the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency in the larger investigation based on information from a Jacksonville informant, currently awaiting trial in the Faulkner County Jail on two other counts of murder.

Weeks after The Leader named Ronald Dean Charles, 31, as the informant and possible serial killer, officials now confirm that identification. Charles, who has a Cabot address and was raised in Jacksonville, told Faulkner County investigators that he was involved in as many as 15 murders. He implicated Smith in Givens’ murder and may have implicated Smith or others in other deaths.

Charles and Troy Allen Crook, 29, of 2716 Moro Lane, Jacksonville, are awaiting trial in connection with the April 9, 2008 murders of cousins Bobby Don Brock, 45, and Lonnie Franklin Brock, 62.

In addition to two capital murder charges, Charles and Crook each face a bevy of other charges related to the Brock killings.
Charles reportedly helped lead officials to Givens’ body, and law- enforcement officials from several jurisdictions, including the State Police and the FBI, are involved in checking out his claims to have murdered many others.

Smith, who was apparently identified by Charles in connection with Givens’ murder, is in the Pulaski County Jail.

Jacksonville Police have not released details of Givens’ murder or proposed a motive, according to April Kiser, a spokesman.

Givens’ family reported her missing to the White County Sheriff’s Office Oct. 6, 2007, Kiser said.

Givens’ remains were recovered Sept. 25 and the state Crime Lab identified her through dental records on Thursday.

Her family is caring for her three young sons, William, Brandon and Johnny, “who meant the world to her,” according to a statement from her sister, Beverly Stills.

“We hope to shelter them from some of the intense pain and hurt we all are experiencing,” according to Sills’ statement.

“We wish to thank the (Jack-sonville) Police Department for their professionalism in clarifying the circumstances surrounding Sandra’s murder,” Sills said in her statement.

The Givens Family Assistance Fund has been started at the Bank of America, with all donations going directly to the children, Sills said.

“We’re trying to get the Jack-sonville one out of the way,” said Rice of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department, “before moving on to other things.”

He said his office believes both Smith and Charles were involved in Givens’ death.

Smith was reportedly slated to be a witness for the prosecution when Charles and Crook stand trial for the murder of the Brocks.