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Middle school assistant principal charged in 11-year-old triple murder case in Georgia

The 2013 cold case had no suspects until Georgia authorities cracked it and arrested four people last week.
Keante Harris
Posted at 7:25 PM, May 15, 2024

For more than a decade, authorities have been trying to uncover who tortured and killed the three people found dead in a vehicle in Georgia. Last week, an Alabama middle school assistant principal was one of four people charged in the crime.

Deputies in Clayton County, Georgia, arrested Keante Harris last week after a grand jury indicted him on three counts of malice murder in the cold case. Three other suspects — Kenneth Thompson, Kevin Harris and Darrell Harris — received the same charges and were all taken into custody across three states without incident, the sheriff's office said.

Keante Harris is listed as assistant principal on McAdory Middle School's website, and his LinkedIn account says he's worked in the county's district for five years and 11 months, holding the most recent position since January 2023.

Now his and the other three arrests bring a much-needed step toward closure in the case that began Jan. 13, 2013. Officers with Georgia's Union City Police Department were patrolling I-85 in Fulton County that day when they found an abandoned 2010 Dodge Charger with three deceased victims inside, Clayton County Sheriff's Department said in a press release.

An investigation thereafter revealed the three victims were lured to a residence in Jonesboro, Georgia, where a suspect forced them inside at gunpoint, officials said. Then they were tortured, put into the backseat of the Dodge Charger and taken to Fulton County, where the sheriff's department says they were "dumped."

Eleven years later, Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts and his team provided the district attorney with the "proper information to successfully get murder indictments from the grand jury," the press release said.

The sheriff's office received 12 murder warrants for the four suspects, each with three charges, on May 8, and within 48 hours, the group were individually taken into custody. It wasn't immediately clear if the three Harrises charged in the case are related.

In a statement to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walter Gonsoulin, the superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, which includes McAdory Middle, said he was aware of Keante Harris' arrest.

"At this time, we still are gathering facts about the specifics of this situation," Gonsoulin told the outlet. "However, early 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 according to our district's policy."