Man convicted of conspiring to kill witnesses in murder case gets 23 years


JACKSON, Tenn. — Another man is sentenced in the high-profile 2014 double murder of a standout football player and his stepfather in north Jackson. On Tuesday, the man found guilty of conspiring to kill two witnesses, who were also victims of the crime, learned his fate.

After now convicted gunman Johnny Wade was arrested and jailed in the double murder, prosecutors said he called Rodarrous Bond and gave him instructions, which have now landed Bond behind bars as well.

Bond faced Madison County Circuit Court Judge Kyle Atkins for his sentencing.

“I’m going to sentence Mr. Bond, I’m going to merge the two counts, and I’m going to sentence him to 23 years,” Judge Atkins said.

Bond was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Prosecutors said he was tasked by Wade from jail to kill Chermaine Owens-Shivers and her teenage son, both in the house when Wade and another man gunned down her husband, Johnny Shivers, and her son, Markel Owens, during a robbery.

“This was a conspiracy to kill a 16 at a time, a 16-year-old kid, to kill his mother,” Assistant District Attorney Aaron Chaplin said.

Police said Bond was unsuccessful in finding the witness, and he was arrested shortly after. Owens-Shivers took the stand during the hearing, asking for justice.

“He did fail to act out what he attempted to do, but it shows that he had no remorse for human life,” she said. “It shows that he had no remorse for the grief that we were already going through.”

Bond’s attorney argued he was only 19 years old at the time and deserved some leniency.

When Bond took the stand, he addressed the victim’s family.

“I never tried to harm him or cause harm to him. I wish them peace and serenity,” Bond said.

Owens-Shivers said that for the family, they are one step closer to closure.

“It really doesn’t mentally change anything,”¬†she said. “I’m just ready to get it over with so we can move on. We definitely can’t change it. We can just move on.”

Craig Taylor is also charged in the murder but has not yet gone to trial. Police say he drove the getaway car.

The judge ordered Bond to serve his 23-year sentence at 30 percent, which is roughly seven years.