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The Latest: Police: Suspect in family slayings was boyfriend

July 18, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — The Latest on the slayings of a Georgia woman and her three young children (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

A Georgia police chief says a suspect charged with killing a woman and her three young children was the woman’s live-in boyfriend, and likely the children’s father.

Police found 29-year-old Jerrica Spellman and her children, including an infant girl, stabbed in a Columbus apartment late Wednesday. They charged 27-year-old Travane Brandon Jackson with four counts of murder.

Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren told reporters Thursday that Jackson and Spellman lived together. He said there was “an ongoing domestic violence relationship” between them.

All three children share Jackson’s last name, and Boren said police believe the suspect was their father. Their ages ranged from 1 month to 3 years old.

Boren says police recovered what they believe was the weapon used in the killings, but he declined to comment further on the investigation.

It’s unclear if Jackson has an attorney who can speak for him.

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10:50 a.m.

Police say a woman and her three children have been found dead at a Georgia apartment complex and a man has been arrested.

News outlets quote Columbus police Maj. John Hawk as saying a tip led authorities to discover the bodies of 29-year-old Jerrica Spellman and her children late Wednesday. Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says all four were stabbed, and that the children ranged in age from 1 month to 3 years old.

Columbus police Lt. Greg Touchberry said Thursday that 27-year-old Travane Brandon Jackson has been arrested on murder charges. It was not immediately known if Jackson had an attorney.

Touchberry did not say how Jackson knew the victims. But police are calling the killings acts of family violence, a legal designation for violent crimes by spouses, parents or other domestic partners.

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