BLYTHEVILLE, AR (News release) - Freddie Sharp III, 29, of Gosnell made a first appearance in Blytheville District Court Wednesday morning to face a rape charge in connection to the Jessica Williams murder case, Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, said.
Blytheville District Judge Shannon Langston found probable cause to charge Sharp with rape, a class Y felony, punishable by 10 to 40 years or life in prison and set bond at $1 million, cash only. Langston also ordered Sharp, if he made bond, to have no contact with the victim’s family or any minor child. He was also ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device if released, Ellington said.
On Aug. 27, officers from the Mississippi County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and the Arkansas State Police (ASP) were dispatched to 5436 NCR 503 in reference to a missing child. A search and rescue effort ended at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 28 with the discovery of Jessica’s body in a ditch near the Big Lake area.
During an autopsy of the victim at the Arkansas State Crime Lab, male DNA was recovered indicating the victim had been sexually assaulted. Investigators obtained DNA samples from several individuals, including Sharp.
“Law enforcement received information late last week that the male DNA recovered during the autopsy belonged to Sharp, within all scientific certainty,” Ellington said.
Officers with the MCSO and the ASP arrested Sharp at 1:15 p.m. Monday for the rape of the 11-year-old-girl. Sharp remains in the Mississippi County Detention Center in lieu of bond, Ellington said.
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