JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — On Wednesday morning, the Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) held a media briefing to announce arrests in the homicide of 23-year-old Tava Woodard, who was killed during an alleged robbery at a Roadrunner Market on North Broadway Street.
Mark Anthony Sexton, Jr., 41, and his son, Mark Anthony Sexton, III, 18, were both charged with First Degree Murder and Especially Aggravated Robbery, according to Johnson City Chief of Police Billy Church. Both were arrested Tuesday on those charges.
Sexton III was also charged with Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Dangerous Felony and Tampering with Evidence.
“This is one of the saddest cases I’ve come across in almost my 30 years of law enforcement,” Church said.
The arrests come after a search warrant was executed at a Fairview Avenue home on Monday afternoon, which Church confirmed was connected to the case.
Both are being held at the Washington County Detention Center on a $1 million bond each and appeared in court on Wednesday.
While in court, both father and son received an additional charge of conspiracy to commit especially aggravated robbery. They are each scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on June 20.
“This continues to be an active and ongoing investigation,” Church said. “It is imperative that we protect the integrity of the investigation as it works its way through the courts.”
Church said additional charges could be filed in the case at a later time but said he was unable to comment further on those during the briefing.
On Friday, June 2, Woodard was killed during a robbery at the North Broadway Street Roadrunner Market. Woodard reportedly complied with the demands of the suspects but was killed during the interaction, the JCPD previously stated.
Woodard’s family told News Channel 11 on Sunday they “want people to remember the light [Tava] brought to everyone around her.”
Church thanked the officers and investigators of the JCPD, as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Jonesborough Police Department and the district attorney’s office.
GPM Investments, the owner of the Roadrunner Market, issued the following statement to News Channel 11 following the news of the arrests:
“We’re thankful that Johnson City authorities quickly apprehended the perpetrators of this senseless and tragic crime. Tava was highly regarded by everyone who was fortunate enough to know her, and our thoughts are with her family.”GPM Investments
News Channel 11 livestreamed Church’s announcement Wednesday. The full briefing can be viewed above.