Alabama middle-school assistant principal arrested in 2013 cold-case triple murder in Georgia

A middle-school principal in Alabama was among four suspects arrested in connection with a decade-old triple murder in Georgia, authorities said Friday.

Keante Harris, 45, was arrested on three counts of malice murder without incident in connection to the murders that happened in Union City, Georgia, in January 2013, the Clayton County Police Department said.

Harris is an assistant principal at McAdory Middle School in Jefferson County, Alabama, and was placed on administrative leave following his arrest, WBMA-TV reported.

Investigators first began working on the case 11 years ago when a Union City Police patrol spotted a 2010 Dodge Charger abandoned near Interstate 85.

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Officers found three dead bodies inside the vehicle, and investigators determined that all three victims had been tortured and murdered in Clayton County before being dumped in Fulton County.

The victims were identified as Quinones King, 33, Rodney Cottrell, 43, and Cheryl Colquitt-Thompson, 32.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office said King and Cottrell were found dead from asphyxiation in the back seat of the Dodge Charger, while Colquitt-Thompson was found in the trunk of the car dead from strangulation, FOX5 Atlanta reported.

The victims were lured to a residence on Magnolia Drive in Jonesboro, Georgia, where they were forced inside at gunpoint, according to police. The victims were then loaded into the back of the Dodge Charger and driven to Fulton County, where their bodies were dumped.

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Three other men identified as Kevin Harris, Kenneth Thompson and Darrell Harris were also arrested without incident and charged with three counts each of malice murder. 

The four men were arrested across three states. It was unclear whether the three Harrises were related.

The Jefferson County School District released a statement on Friday, saying it was aware of the arrest of Keante Harris, who has been placed on administrative leave.

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“At this time we still are gathering facts about the specifics of this situation,” the statement obtained by WBMA-TV said. “However, early indications are that the charges are not related to this individual’s employment with Jefferson County Schools.”