BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Two people appeared in court Wednesday to face charges of murder and arson. Sheriff’s officials had refused to release details but several people who attended the suspects’ arraignment wore T-shirts with the image of a missing Lancaster woman printed on them.
On Thursday, the sheriff’s office said the two people in court and a third person were arrested in connection to human remains found the desert near Backus Road last month.
Jahquan Davenport, 26, and Antone James, 18, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Kern County Superior Court. A third suspect, Jaysean Davenport, was arrested Aug. 31 and is also charged with first-degree murder and arson.
Court Commissioner Roger H. Ponce Jr. ordered Jahquan Davenport and James held without bail, noting the probable cause declaration says the victim was shot in the back of the head.
However, a group of people, apparently family of 27-year-old Ronnetta Martin, attended the hearing and hugged afterward. They declined comment. One woman wept.
A Facebook group dedicated to Martin, who was reported missing earlier this month, says she died around the time human remains were found Aug. 15 in a rural area of Kern County. The group says her car was found burned in Inglewood.
The remains were found on Backus Road between Rosamond and Mojave. Sheriff’s officials as of late Thursday afternoon did not identify the remains but said the adult female died from a gunshot to the head.
Davenport has a listed address in California City and James has a listed address in Lancaster, according to inmate records. They’re due back in court Sept. 13.