Bonds Reduced For Murder Accessory Suspects In Hustle Mart Case

A judge lowered the bonds of two people jailed in connection to the triple murder at a Farmville convenience store. A group recently demanded the bonds be brought down.

According to officials at the Pitt County Detention Center, the bond for Ashley Johnson was lowered on November 9 from $3 million to $100,000, while Timothy House's bond was lowered from $3 million to $200,000 on November 5.

Johnson is an ECU student who was arrested September 25. Authorities said she was the girlfriend of murder suspect Willie Whitehead.

House is Whitehead's brother and is accused of destroying evidence. He was arrested on October 8.

A group called "Enough is Enough" rallied outside the Pitt County Courthouse on October 16, demanding the bonds be lowered for Johnson and another accessory suspect, Zipporah Purvis. Purvis's bond of $200,000 has not changed in several months.

Eight people have been arrested in the triple murder, including four people who are charged with murder.

House, Johnson and Whitehead are due in court again on December 3, while Zipporah Purvis is scheduled for an appearance on December 4. The three other murder suspects, Antwan Anthony, Xavier Shamble and Raekwon Blount, are due in court February 5.

Valerie Blount, the mother of murder suspect Raekwon Blount, is also charged in connection to the triple murder. She's due in court again on December 6 on her charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Her son was 14 years old when the three men were murdered inside the Hustle Mart.


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About a dozen people gathered outside the Pitt County Courthouse this morning to express their outrage over the bond for two women arrested in connection with the triple murders in Farmville back In April.

Organizers with "When Enough is Enough " spoke out about what they call a disparity in bonds for two women charged with accessory after the fact. They want 25-year-old Zipporah Purvis and 24-year-old Ashley Johnson released from jail until their trial.

Christopher Taylor, the president of the group, says the bond for Johnson is $3 million bond, while Purvis is jailed on a $200,000 bond. Taylor says those bonds are too much, especially after several high profile murder cases where the defendants received a lesser bond.

"What I'm saying is $3 million is too high, when people who commit murder their bonds are less--their bonds are ranging from $400,000 to $2.5 million," said Taylor. "These girls are in jail for accessory after the fact, their bond is $3 million. That is too high. I wound not want that for you or anybody in your family."

Eight people have been arrested in the triple murder, including four people who are charged with murder. Also arrested in the case is the mother of the 14 year old murder suspect. Valerie Blount was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.


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A group in Pitt County says two women jailed in connection to the April 1 triple murder at the Farmville Hustle Mart should be released immediately.

The group "Enough is Enough" says they'll meet at the steps of the Pitt County Courthouse Tuesday to ask for 25-year-old Zipporah Purvis and 24-year-old Ashley Johnson to be released. Both are charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

Johnson was arrested September 25 and remains behind bars under a $3 million bond. Purvis was arrested nearly six months ago and is jailed under a $200,000 bond.

Eight people have been arrested in the triple murder, including four people who are charged with murder. Johnson and Purvis are charged with accessory after the fact. Also charged with the mother of the murder suspect who is 14 years old. Valerie Blount was arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Timothy House is the most recent suspect charged. He's accused of destroying evidence.

Enough is Enough did not give specifics of their argument for the release of Johnson and Purvis. We'll let you know what they present at the courthouse later this morning.


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