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Assistant school principal among 4 arrested in cold case triple murder mystery in Georgia

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More than a decade after three people were found dead inside a car that had been abandoned along the side of a Georgia highway, authorities have arrested four suspects. Among those in custody is an assistant principal at a middle school outside of Birmingham, Alabama, CBS affiliate WAKA-TV reported

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted that man, 45-year-old Keante Harris, on three counts of malice murder for his alleged involvement in the 11-year-old killings. The indictment similarly charged three other suspects, Kenneth Thompson, Kevin Harris and Darrell Harris, with three counts each of malice murder, said Clayton County Sheriff Levon Allen in a statement

Keante Harris Jefferson County Jail

Authorities say the murders took place in Clayton County, just south of Atlanta. Their investigation into the crimes showed that all three victims were tortured and killed before their bodies were put into a 2010 Dodge Charger that was eventually discovered along Interstate 85 near Union City, which is close by. Union City police found their bodies inside the vehicle on Jan. 13, 2013, according to Allen's statement. 

"The victims were lured to a residence on Magnolia Drive in Jonesboro where they were forced into the residence at gunpoint. Later, they were loaded into the back seat of a Dodge Charger and taken to Fulton County," the sheriff said. 

WAKA-TV reported that the victims had been beaten and strangled to death. They were identified as Cheryl Colquitt-Thompson, Quinones King and Rodney Cottrell, all of whom were residents of Montgomery, Alabama, according to the station. 

Allen said that the Clayton County Police Department and the district attorney's office have continued to pursue an investigation into the murders and recently secured indictments from the grand jury. The four suspects were arrested on fugitive from justice warrants in three different states between Wednesday and Friday of last week, Allensaid. Booking records show that Harris is being held in the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham.

Walter Gonsoulin, superintendent of Jefferson County Schools, the district where Harris is employed, confirmed his position as assistant principal at McAdory Middle School in a statement to WAKA-TV.

"We have been made aware that Mr. Keante Harris was arrested Wednesday afternoon," said Gonsoulin. "At this time we still are gathering facts about the specifics of this situation. However, early indications are that the charges are not related to this individual's employment with Jefferson County Schools. Per standard procedure, Mr. Harris has been placed on paid administrative leave. As more facts become available, we will act according to our district's policy."

CBS News contacted the school district for more information but did not receive an immediate reply.  

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