Arrest In West Memphis Cold Case Murder

(West Memphis, AR) A father’s prayers are answered.

Every other day for five years, he’s been calling West Memphis police to see if anyone’s been arrested for killing his son.

For five years, the answer was no.

Until now.

Jessie Washington was locked up for the crime after a break in the case the victim’s father prayed would happen.

“I just kept saying hallelujah now my son can rest peace. He was resting in love now he can rest in peace,” Arthur Gregory said.

On July 16th, 2009, Arthur and Kathy Gregory lost their 18-year-old son, also named Arthur.

He had just graduated high school and was getting ready to join the Marines when he was robbed and gunned down outside their West Memphis home.

“He cried my name momma and that was it. When he stepped up, he fell on the floor and died,” she said. “I saw him take his last breath.”

For the last five years, Mr. Gregory has called police every other day looking for answers, but his son’s case only grew colder.

“They would tell me nothing new,” he said.

Two weeks ago, he got a different response from investigators.

“He said Mr. Gregory, he said, it’s going to be a little while longer,” he said.

Wednesday, police showed up at his home.

“They said, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Gregory, we have come today to tell you we have solved your son’s murder case,’” he said.

Police say Jesse James Washington, 25, robbed and killed Gregory that night.

Wednesday, he was charged with capital murder.

Police are releasing very little about what lead to the arrest, but said they received new information in the case.

This family never gave up hope, and Thursday they credited the West Memphis Police Department for not giving up either.

Washington will be in court Friday morning at 9:30. He is being held in the Crittenden County jail without bond.

There is no bond for a Capital Murder charge in Arkansas.

According to West Memphis Police, “Washington was also arrested on an unrelated Felony Probation Violation warrant issued by the Crittenden County Circuit Court. His West Memphis District Court appearance is scheduled for this Friday morning.”

“We understand this matter is far from being resolved in court, however, we are very pleased with today’s arrest as well as being able to share this news with Arthur’s family.  It was some measure of long overdue relief for two parents still coping with the loss of their son.”  Chief Donald Oakes said.