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Parents stunned when Alabama high school principal is arrested in brutal 11-year-old cold case murder

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  • Keante Harris, an assistant principal at McAdory Middle, was handcuffed Wednesday
  • His arrest stemmed from the murders of two men and a woman in January 2013
  • The three were lured to a home and tortured by Harris and others, police said



An Alabama high school principal has been arrested and charged in the cold-case deaths of three people that occurred more than a decade ago.

Keante Harris, an assistant principal at McAdory Middle School, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday pursuant to a court order.

His arrest stemmed from the January 2013 murders of Cheryl Colquitt-Thompson, Quinones King and Rodney Cottrell, a trio of Alabama residents found dead in Clayton County, Georgia.

The three were lured to a home, forced inside at gunpoint and tortured by Harris and three other accomplices, the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release — adding that the three other suspects have also been arrested.

Identified as Kenneth Thompson, Kevin Harris and Darrell Harris. All were arrested in three states, the sheriff’s office said.

Keante Harris, an assistant principal at McAdory Middle School, surrendered to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday pursuant to a court order.

“On January 13, 2013, Union City Police were on general patrol in the area of ​​Interstate I-85 (Fulton County) when they observed a 2010 Dodge Charger that appeared to be abandoned,” officers wrote about how they interacted with the 11 -11 rounds. year old case.

“Upon further inspection, Union City Officers located (3) deceased bodies inside the vehicle.

“The investigation revealed that all three victims were tortured and murdered in Clayton County and dumped in Fulton County.

“The victims were lured to a residence on Magnolia Drive in Jonesboro, where they were forced into the residence at gunpoint,” the update issued Friday continued.

“They were later loaded into the backseat of a Dodge Charger and taken to Fulton County.”

The bulletin goes on to explain how Chief Kevin Robert, the chief of the Clayton County Police Department, and his team were able to solve the case before providing the Clayton County District Attorney with the information needed for the four murder charges.

County prosecutors proceeded to serve twelve murder warrants on the Sheriff’s Office: three for Harris and three each for the other suspects.

Despite the update, it remains unclear whether the suspects – several of whom have the same last name – are related.

Cheryl Colquitt-Thompson was found dead along with two men in 2013
The victims were lured to a home on Magnolia Drive in Jonesboro, where they were forced into the home at gunpoint. The second victim was Quinones King (photo)
They were later loaded into the backseat of a Dodge Charger and taken to Fulton County. The third victim was Rodney Cottrell (photo)

“Upon receiving this information, Sheriff Levon Allen immediately activated his ‘Elite Fugitive Unit’ to locate and arrest all four outstanding suspects,” the officers wrote – culminating in the arrest of the quartet.

Allen added, “I am pleased to announce today that through hard work and careful investigation, all four murder suspects were taken into custody in three states within 48 hours without incident.

The top cop then thanked the department’s “law enforcement partners at home and abroad,” who he said “came together to bring these suspects to justice.”

Each is charged with three counts of Malice Murder for the triple murder case in Union City, Georgia, which occurred on January 13, 2013.

Harris is one of two assistant principals at the high school in McCalla, which has about 929 students

It started when the three victims – all Montgomery residents – were found in a silver Dodge Charger on I-85 in Fulton County.

Two of the victims died of asphyxiation, while the third was found strangled in the trunk of the car, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to Fox 5 this week.

The victims were reportedly killed at a home in Clayton County before being left in the vehicle.

In an oral statement to WSFA 12, Tony Garrett of Central Alabama CrimeStoppers described that he still remembers the pain the victims’ families felt that day.

“This case really helped me grow as a director of CrimeStoppers because initially I could feel what the family was feeling, not really, but go through their emotions,” he said.

“We are still offering the reward on this case, so we are waiting for them to contact us to see if they had a tipster or if any information had come in to solve the case,” he added.

Police said they are in contact with the victims’ families, who said they will speak out when they are ready

The case was approached with the same urgency as other, more current cases, he said, citing advances in DNA and other technology for the not-so-quick arrests.

‘We see DNA investigations, in which agencies are increasingly pooling resources. We see this is a better solution or a better way to investigate, so we see technology catching up and we see better communication,” he said.

Police added that they were in contact with the victims’ families, who said they would speak out when they were ready. They were seen Monday at a Crime Stoppers event in Central Alabama celebrating the arrests, but did not speak to the media.

Harris, meanwhile, is one of the assistant principals at the high school in McCalla, which has about 929 students.

The three victims – all Montgomery residents – were found in a silver Dodge Charger on I-85 in Fulton County (crime scene pictured)

A spokesperson for Jefferson County Schools referred all questions about the case to the sheriff’s office and revealed that Harris — seen posing in a police mugshot — has been placed on administrative leave.

“We have been notified that Mr. Keante Harris was arrested Wednesday afternoon,” Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin said in a statement Monday.

‘We are still gathering facts about the specifics of this situation. However, initial indications are that the charges are not related to this individual’s employment with Jefferson County Schools.

“Per standard procedure, Mr. Harris has been placed on paid administrative leave. As more facts become available, we will act in accordance with our district’s policies.”

DailyMail.com has contacted the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office for comment.