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Police: Two men arrested in connection to murder of 16-year-old in Fayetteville

Two people from Marianna, Ark. have been arrested for a homicide in Fayetteville that happened in September.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Two people have been arrested in connection to the homicide of a 16-year-old in Fayetteville. 

Fayetteville Police Chief Mike Reynolds announced Thursday, Oct. 21, that two people were in custody in connection with a homicide reported on Sept. 10, 2021, at West Pleasant Woods Drive.

On Friday, Sept. 10, around 10:30 p.m., Fayetteville police officers responded to a home on West Pleasant Woods Drive in reference to a shooting. 

Once on scene, officers found an unresponsive 16-year-old male inside the residence with an apparent gunshot wound. Officers immediately began life-saving efforts but were unable to save the victim, Chief Reynolds said.

An initial investigation led detectives to determine the shooting was a homicide.

After several weeks of investigating, detectives requested an arrest warrant for 19-year-old Christopher Johnson Jr., of Marianna, for second-degree murder and tampering with evidence. 

Another arrest warrant was issued for 18-year-old Paul Whitaker of Marianna for hindering apprehension or prosecution and accomplice to tampering with physical evidence.

On Monday, Oct. 18, detectives from the Fayetteville Police Department, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force, along with the USMS Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Task Force, and the Marianna Police Department located and arrested Johnson Jr. and Whitaker in Marianna for the above charges.

This investigation is ongoing. The victim's identity and details surrounding the homicide have not been released at this time.

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