3 teens in Arkansas slaying investigation being returned

AP News
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Posted: Jul 27, 2015 7:53 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Three teenagers sought for questioning in the fatal shooting of an Arkansas couple were on their way back to the state from Texas on Monday.

The three 17-year-olds were detained Thursday by Graham, Texas, police and have been held since then in the Young County jail, authorities said. Jim Budharf, chief deputy for the Young County Sheriff's Department, said the teens were released to Faulkner County, Arkansas, Sheriff's Department deputies about 4 p.m. Monday.

"The best I can say is that they are in the process of being returned to Arkansas," he said. "This morning, they were still in the jail. Until the Conway department's investigation is complete, we really can't disclose any information about them at all."

Prosecutor Cody Hiland said last week that he expected more arrests in the killings of Robert and Patricia Cogdell, both 66. The couple was found dead Wednesday behind their Conway home, about 35 miles north of Little Rock.

Police arrested the Cogdell's 14-year-old grandson, who lived with them, Thursday. He is being held without bond on two potential counts of capital murder. The Associated Press is not naming him because Hiland said he hadn't yet determined whether the boy would be charged as a juvenile or an adult or what charges he would face.

Conway Police spokeswoman LaTresha Woodruff said the teens in Texas, two boys and one girl all listed as runaways, were sought for questioning after their names "came up" during the investigation into the killings. She said as of Monday afternoon there were no pending charges against the teens.

Conway police found the bodies after Robert Cogdell's co-workers became concerned that he did not show up for work Wednesday as the public works director for the City of Maumelle. Police believe the couple was shot Tuesday night, Robert in the house and Patricia in the garage, before their bodies were dragged to the tree line behind their home.

The Graham Police Department announced the arrest of the three 17-year-olds in a news release Friday, calling them "persons of interest in (an) Arkansas murder."

The Graham police statement said the teens were stopped about 1:30 a.m. Thursday because the license plate of the car they were driving was thought to be connected to a possible kidnapping in Arkansas. Police later learned one of the teens had texted a relative to say they had been kidnapped, which prompted the original call to police.

Officers stopped the car coming into Graham. As the teens were stepping out of the car, one of them dropped a double-edged knife, police said.

Officers searched the car and found a second knife, drug paraphernalia and what officers believed to be marijuana, according to the release.

"Officers learned the three were persons of interest in a double homicide and one was believed to have been shot. Officers confirmed that one of the occupants did indeed have a gunshot wound to the chest and later learned another of the subjects had been shot as well," the release said.

Graham Police Chief Tony Widner confirmed Monday that they were "examined and released" and the injuries were not life-threatening.

Woodruff said she could not comment on whether the gunshot wounds were related to the fatal shooting investigation.

The three teens were arraigned on separate charges in district court in Texas on Friday morning, when Graham police said they waived jurisdiction. The first 17-year-old male was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia; the second 17-year-old male was charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon and the 17-year-old female was charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana. AP is not naming the teens because they haven't been charged in the killings.