Second Murder Suspect Caught

Suspect eligible for death penalty.

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The Harnett County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a second suspect in the murder of a Lillington man last month.

Deputies arrested Jarell Donte Ballentine, 18, of McIver Street in Angier Monday night. He is now charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, attempted armed robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was to make his first court appearance today.

Mr. Ballentine is the second suspect to be charged in the death of 28-year-old Kyle Jarrett. He was found dead in his house on Arlie Lane in Lillington on June 21. He had been shot several times.

Alma Isabel Correa Portillo, 17, faces the same charges. She appeared in court last week and remains held in the Harnett County Jail.

The sheriff’s office has not released information on any connections between the two suspects.

Mr. Ballentine is held with no bond set in the murder charges. His bond for the other charges totals $560,000.

When Ms. Portillo appeared in court last week Judge Henry Willis warned her she could face lethal injection if convicted. However, he later learned she was 17 and too young to face the death penalty. You have to be at least age 18, which Mr. Ballentine is.

District Attorney Vernon Stewart said it’s too early to determine if this will be a death penalty case. There are processes that must take place.

“That decision will be made at a Rule 24 hearing, although he is eligible,” he said.

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