Man charged with attempting to coerce witness to slayings of Arkansas State football player, stepdad

Jackson police have arrested a man accused of trying to coerce a material witness in the Jan. 15 murders of Arkansas State University football player Markel Owens and his stepfather, Johnny Shivers.

Roddarous Bond, 19, of Murfreesboro, is charged with attempted coercion of a witness, according to a news release from the Jackson Police Department.

Bond was arrested Sunday morning and booked at the Madison County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned via video link at 8 a.m. today in Jackson City Court.

Around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 15, police were called to a duplex at 770 Walker Road, where they found Chermaine Owens-Shivers lying in the front yard with a gunshot wound.

Owens-Shivers’ son, Owens, and her husband, Shivers, were found with gunshot wounds inside the apartment. Shivers was apparently dead on the scene. Owens was taken to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and pronounced dead.

Investigators learned that Shivers and his 16-year-old son were arriving home when they were rushed by two masked men and forced inside the apartment. Investigators said they have determined that cousins Derrick Wade, 22, and Johnny Wade, 19, both of Jackson, were the masked men.

The masked men were armed with handguns and demanded money, police said. Owens and Owens-Shivers were inside the apartment at the time. Owens and Shivers were shot and killed during the robbery. Owens-Shivers also was shot but survived.

Derrick Wade was arrested Jan. 16 in Memphis, and Johnny Wade was arrested Jan. 18 in Ripley. Both are charged with two counts of felony murder of Owens and Shivers, especially aggravated robbery of Shivers, attempted first-degree murder of Owens-Shivers, aggravated assault of the 16-year-old boy and tampering with evidence.

On Feb. 4, a material witness in the case started receiving phone calls from the Madison County Jail but did not answer. Police said that investigators found Johnny Wade had learned the witness’s phone number and directed Bond to find the witness. Investigators further learned that Wade had talked about the murder case not proceeding without the witness, police said.

Investigators later intercepted a three-way phone conversation from the Madison County Jail between Wade and Bond, according to the news release. Wade asked Bond if he had found the witness and Bond replied that he could not find them, police said.

On Feb. 13, the case against Derrick and Johnny Wade was sent to the Madison County grand jury following a preliminary hearing in Jackson City Court.

Police anticipate additional charges against Johnny Wade in the attempt to coerce the witness.

Prior charge

Bond has ties to Jackson and a previous arrest in a violent crime. Police said they believe Bond and an unidentified accomplice robbed a 19-year-old man as he sat in his car at Royal Arms Apartments on Aug. 4, 2013. When the victim drove away, police said, Bond and the accomplice shot and struck the victim’s car numerous times. The victim’s 2-year-old son was in the car, but neither was injured.

Shortly afterward, Bond was brought by private vehicle to a Jackson hospital with a gunshot wound. Investigators said they determined that Bond had accidentally been shot by the accomplice.

Upon release from the hospital, Bond was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, but the case was dismissed in Jackson City Court because a material witness did not come to court.

 

COURTESY OF JACKSONSUN.COM