Sebastian County Prosecutor Daniel Shue announced today that Johnathan Carroll Massey, 21, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder. Massey was charged in a Sebastian County Circuit Court on Monday morning, and also faces aggravated robbery, arson and theft of property charges.
The victims’ names were also released, Carroll Wayne Elmore, Massey’s grandfather, and his girlfriend Sharon Diane Bernard.
Massey remains in the Sebastian County Detention Center without bond. His arraignment is set for February 5, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. in the Sebastian County Courts building.
Shue stated, “I have been asked about a motive in this particular case. While I cannot comment with regard to the facts of this particular case, I can state that evidence of motive in a homicide case is usually permissible; however, it is not necessary. All that is necessary, with regard to what must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, are the elements of the offense. In general, for murder in the first degree, there must be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant purposely cause the death of the victim. In turn, ‘purposely’ is defined such that ‘a person acts with purpose with respect to his conduct or a result thereof when it is his conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result.”
Shue also noted that although charges had been filed, Massey is presumed innocent until proven guilty.