2 men arrested in connection to murder of 16-year-old in Fayetteville

Arkansas

Christopher Johnson Jr. (L), Paul Whitaker (R) – Photos: Washington County Detention Center

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Two men were arrested in Marianna on Monday in connection to the murder of a 16-year-old boy in Fayetteville last month.

Christopher Johnson Jr., 19, of Marianna, was arrested for murder in the second degree and tampering with evidence, and Paul Whitaker, 18, of Marianna, for hindering apprehension or prosecution and accomplice to tampering with physical evidence, according to the Fayetteville Police Department on Thursday.

Fayetteville police found the unidentified 16-year-old dead at a residence on West Pleasant Woods Drive after responding to a shooting call on Friday, September 10, 2021, at around 10:30 p.m.

According to police, officers immediately began life-saving efforts, but they were unable to save the victim. Police say an initial investigation determined the incident was a homicide.

Police did not say how Johnson Jr. and Whitaker are connected to the crime, but, after several weeks of investigating, detectives requested arrested warrants for the pair through the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Monday, detectives with Fayetteville police, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service Western Arkansas Fugitive Task Force, along with the USMS Eastern Arkansas Fugitive Task Force (EATF), and the
Marianna Police Department found and arrested Johnson Jr. and Whitaker in Marianna.

According to FPD, the investigation is ongoing.

Johnson Jr. and Whitaker are currently in jail at the Washington County Detention Center on bonds of $1,000,000 and $25,000, respectively, according to the jail’s website.

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