Assistant principal charged in cold-case triple murder extradited to Clayton County

Keante Harris in court (WBRC)

An Alabama middle school assistant principal accused of taking part in a decade-old triple murder in Georgia is now in custody at the Clayton County Jail.

Records obtained by FOX 5 show that 45-year-old Keante Harris was extradited from Alabama and booked at the jail at around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Two weeks ago, Harris was arrested along with three other men and charged with the murder of 33-year-old Quinones King, 43-year-old Rodney Cottrell, and 32-year-old Cheryl Colquitt-Thompson.

WBMA-TV reported that Keonte Harris is an assistant principal at McAdory Middle School in Jefferson County, Alabama. The school district said he was placed on administrative leave following his arrest.

"At this time we still are gathering facts about the specifics of this situation," a spokesperson for the school district said. "However, early indications are that the charges are not related to this individual’s employment with Jefferson County Schools."

Union City cold case murder investigation

On Jan. 13, 2013, three people were found in a silver 2010 Dodge Charger abandoned along Interstate 85 at an exit ramp in Union City.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office says King and Cottrell were found dead from asphyxiation in the back seat. Colquitt-Thompson was found dead in the trunk from strangulation.  

Investigators determined the three victims were lured to a home on Magnolia Drive in Jonesboro where they were held at gunpoint. The trio was tortured and killed, investigators say. They were later put into the vehicle and taken to Fulton County, where the vehicle was dumped. 

The case remained a mystery for more than a decade until Clayton County police issued warrants for the arrest of Harris and three others, identified as Kenneth Thompson, Kevin Harris and Darrell Harris. It is unclear whether the three Harrises are related.

Kenneth Thompson, Keante Harris, Kevin Harris and Darrell Harris

Kenneth Thompson, Keante Harris, Kevin Harris and Darrell Harris (Clayton County Sheriff's Office)

Victims' family hoping for justice

The families of victims had long suspected their murders were a setup. 

Last week, FOX 5's Deidra Dukes spoke to King's mother by phone. Colquitt-Thompson was her granddaughter. Rosetta Colquitt said she never gave up hope the killers would be brought to justice. 

"It was hard. Can you imagine me sitting up half of the night crying? I couldn't understand how someone could take my children, my granddaughter, my son's life," Colquitt said. 

Colquitt said she is grateful to Clayton County police investigators for their tireless efforts. 

"I just want to thank the lord, and thank them, for working hard after hours, over the hours to make this happen for our family," she said. 

She said that, while it may be difficult, she will travel to Georgia for the court proceedings.