Man arrested in connection with Jefferson County murders

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ark. – A Mississippi man has been arrested in connection with a double murder that happened in Jefferson County.

Major Lafayette Woods, Jr., with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, said 21-year-old William Cody Childress was arrested following Friday morning's discovery of the bodies of Anthony Branch, 62, and Deborah Moncrief, 58, at Moncreif's home on the 6300 block of Cowboy Drive in Pine Bluff.

STORY: Foul play suspected in Jefferson County deaths (

"It is believed that Childress is the sole participant in the murders, and the motive appears to have been over money. It definitely was not random or an accident," said Woods. "It appears that the double homicide was targeted."

Woods said investigators were able to piece together—through evidence and interviews with family members, friends, and neighbors—that Childress was responsible for Branch and Moncrief's deaths. By Friday evening, deputies found Childress and his fiancée, 23-year-old Jessica Moncrief, who is also Deborah Moncrief's niece.

Childress apparently led investigators to the weapon allegedly used in the double murder shortly after he was found, according to Woods. While they do have that weapon, police won't say exactly how Moncrief and Branch died.

"The motive at this point, looks like it's going to be money related involving some money between Mrs. Moncrief exchanging hands with Mr. Cody," added Woods.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder and is currently being held without the possibility of posting bail at the W.C. "Dub" Brassell Jefferson County Adult Detention Center as the investigation continues.

STORY: Neighbors react to double homicide in Jefferson County (

Nearby neighbors are still shocked that something like this has happened in their quiet community.

"It's a relief, and I know the nieghborhood is glad," said neighbor James Rice. "It's just a relief that they have caught him...You just got to be careful with who you get involved with, you know?"


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