Three Springs runaways charged in Madison homicide

Three Springs runaways charged in Madison homicide
Madison police responded to a homicide near Publix on County Line Road. (Source: WAFF)
Madison police responded to a homicide near Publix on County Line Road. (Source: WAFF)

MADISON, AL (WAFF) - The two suspects in Madison's Monday night homicide have each been charged with capital murder and sent to the Limestone County Jail.

The sheriff's office identified them as Jakobe Carter, 18, of Phenix City, and Arron Jones, 17, of Birmingham. Their murder charges are connected to homicide during the first-degree robbery. They are also charged with second-degree burglary. Bonds have not been set at this time.

Investigators say they are runaways from the Three Springs juvenile facility. Police also say the two could also be related to several overnight burglaries in the Madison area.

The suspects were caught after a death investigation outside the Publix shopping center at 12070 County Line Road on Monday night. Workers doing renovations on the Publix Shopping Center at 12070 County Line Road found a coworker's body around 11:30 p.m.Monday.

Police identified the victim as the victim as 61-year-old Van Johnson of Riverdale, Georgia. He was a construction worker contracting through Publix. Court documents state the teens stole Johnson's money and cell phone.

Madison police initially thought it was an industrial accident at a shopping center on County Line Road. Police later determined it was a homicide.

Three Springs, located at 1329 Browns Ferry Rd. in Madison, is a private contract holding facility for juveniles who have been adjudicated and committed by the Alabama Department of Youth Services. Three Springs also houses juveniles placed there by the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

Three Springs is a private facility and is not run by the city or police department. The Madison Police Department says they have reached out to Three Springs administrators to discuss ways to minimize security risks to the surrounding community.

Three Springs released the following statement:

In the aftermath of what is a tragic incident, our thoughts first go out to those directly impacted. The program immediately contacted local law enforcement and regulatory bodies to make them aware of the situation. We are taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the safety and security of all our students and the community. The program has and will continue to be completely cooperative and helpful to the law enforcement and regulatory bodies. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim, his family, all families and people who have been affected.

The murder prompted a new look at the facility's security after multiple recent runaways.

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