COPY-Two charged with murder of former Memphis police officer - - Jackson, MS

COPY-Two charged with murder of former Memphis police officer

(WMC-TV) - Memphis police arrested two people in connection with a string of murders Sunday, including the murder of a former Memphis police officer.

Michael Dean, 24, and Ashley Carver, 22, were charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in the death of Charles Jones, 57.

Jones was reported missing by his wife early Friday morning.  His burned body was recovered in Madison County Friday afternoon.  Jones' vehicle was also located in Jackson, Tennessee, about eight miles from where his body was found.

According to a press release, an officer stopped a vehicle registered to Jones on I-40 eastbound near mile marker 27 Thursday.  The passenger of the vehicle was identified as Dean.

When the officer returned to his vehicle, Dean and the driver, 18-year-old Demetreous Santiago, got back in Jones' vehicle and sped off.

Dean was located Friday inside 201 Poplar providing a urine sample as a condition of his probation from a previous drug arrest.  He was questioned by investigators, during which time he admitted to being responsible for killing Jones.

During Dean's statement, he said that Jones was lured by Carver for the purpose of having sex.  Jones was then shot by Dean and placed in the trunk of his vehicle.  Dean said Jones' body was in the trunk of the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop.

"He was lured there for the purpose of having sex," Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said at a press conference Sunday.  "After Jones arrived at the residence, he was shot by Michael Dean."

After eluding officers, Dean and another suspect who is not in custody took Jones to Jackson, removed his body from the trunk, and set his body on fire.  Jones' vehicle was also burned later that day.

A Memphis police spokesperson said that throughout the investigation, it was revealed that Dean and Carver were connected to additional homicides in Memphis.

On December 8 of 2011, family members located the bodies of James Rucker, 40, and Melody Weddle, 26, inside a home in the 800 block of N. Claybrook.  Both victims suffered from gunshot wounds and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Dean admitted to being responsible for killing both Rucker and Weddle.  An additional suspect is not in custody at this time.

On January 20, Leonard Davidson, 40, was found dead from a gunshot wound in the 700 block of N. Montgomery.  Dean and Carver also admitted to being responsible for the shooting death of Davidson.  Davidson was on his way to work at the Valero plant at the time.

A third suspect, Lewis Gibson, has also been charged first degree murder in connection with Davidson's murder.

Police said Carver lured Davidson to the location, where he was physically assaulted by Dean, Gibson, and Santiago.  Police said Davidson was tied up and shot to death when he tried to get away.

Police were still searching for Santiago Sunday night.  Police in Jackson, Tennessee have issued a warrant for his arrest.

These investigations are ongoing at this time.

The suspects in custody are due in court Monday morning.

Sunday night, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton issued the following statement about the arrests:

"I want to congratulate Director Armstrong and his team for their work in this investigation. I was personally kept abreast of this matter by Director Armstrong at every stage of discovery.  The Director and his team have once again demonstrated to us all what good, thorough police work looks like. 

I just want to reiterate the importance of our keeping resources in place that will allow MPD to continue to do the kind of stellar job we see from them daily, a degree of excellence definitely highlighted with this investigation."


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