Two Eufaula men have been arrested in connection with the Nov. 5 murder of Midway man, Marcus Freeman. The two men, a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old, are being charged with capital murder, which enables law enforcement officials to charge the 17-year-old as an adult for his participation in the crime.
Arrested were Eric Rashard, 17, Smith and Jerrell Tyquan Jernigan, 18, both of Eufaula. Smith was arrested on Nov. 14 for his connection to the crime. Jernigan was located by officers with the Eufaula Police Department on State Docks Road on Nov. 15 and held for the BCSO until pick up by a BCSO deputy was made.
Freeman’s body was discovered by BCSO Deputy Christopher Hutto after a welfare check was requested by Freeman’s work supervisor on Tuesday, Nov. 5. According to a report released by the BCSO, Freeman had not been seen or heard from for approximately five days prior to the request.
The deputy originally went to an address on Highway 82 a little after 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 5, but was told by Freeman’s step-father, Bobby Cobb, that he did not reside at the residence. He led the deputy to Freeman’s residence a short time later. Upon arrival at the residence on Farmer Road in Midway, Cobb reported that Freeman’s vehicle was not in the front yard of the home.
An inspection of the outside of the home was done by the deputy, with the help of Cobb, with no signs of forced entry being found. One of the rear windows of the home was found broken and boarded up from a prior burglary that occurred approximately a year before according to the BCSO report issued.
Entry into Freeman’s home was made by his step-father initially after he pushed on the front door to check to see if it was latched.
When the deputy entered the home, he observed that the television was on with the volume turned very loud and a heater in the residence was set at a high temperature. It was after passing through the living room area, that the deputy discovered Freeman’s body lying in a doorway to another room, showing no signs of life. Cobb identified the body at that of Freeman.
The cause of death, according to Barbour County Coroner Sydney “Chip” Chapman, was a single gunshot wound. Marcus Freeman was 45 at the time of his death.
The connection between Smith, Jernigan and Freeman was made after several items were found at the crime scene, leading officers to try to locate where Freeman had purchased the items just hours before his death.
Freeman’s stolen vehicle was located in Eufaula on Boundary Street the day after his death and towed to the BCSO where an inspection of the contents was made. A receipt for the items found at the crime scene led deputies to a local Eufaula convenience store where a video tape from the convenience store showed Smith and Jernigan in the store at the same time as Freeman; the video tape also showed items the pair purchased. Wrappers and containers from those items were later found inside the stolen vehicle belonging to Freeman.
All evidence that has been collected in the case is being processed by the state forensics department BCSO Detective Tracy Reese noted.
According to Detective Reese, robbery was to be the initial crime but escalated to capital murder with Freeman’s death.
Smith and Jernigan have both made their first appearances in front of a judge with no bond being set for either due to the nature of the crime.