A Frankfort teen pleaded not guilty today in the murder of a 16-year-old Franklin County High School student.
Carstaigo Fields, 19, appeared in Franklin District Court by video this morning for his arraignment. Chief District Judge Kathy Mangeot set his bond at $500,000.
Fields was arrested and charged with murder around 1 p.m. Monday – nearly 12 hours after 16-year-old Jafari Hart was killed at Austin Park Apartments on Bypass Plaza Drive, Maj. Fred Deaton said.
Fields and Hart were acquaintances, but it’s unclear why the shooting took place, Deaton said during a press conference at the Public Safety Building Monday afternoon.
“Anytime you have a crime like this with such a young victim where the individual is shot in a parking lot of an apartment complex where there are dozens or more individuals the bullet could have injured we prioritize that because it’s so dangerous,” Deaton said.
“Someone who would commit such an act should be taken into custody as soon as possible.”
Police expect a second arrest, Deaton said.
“We’ve gone pretty much door-to-door in the apartment complex canvassing the neighborhood to see who has seen what,” Deaton said.
Fields is lodged at Franklin County Regional Jail.
Kalowe Edwards, a neighbor, has told The State Journal that he heard six shots fired around 1:30 a.m. while he was sitting in his living room about 100 yards from the scene.
“At first I thought it was fireworks, but then I realized it was too consistent and had to be gunshots,” said Edwards, a Louisville native.
Edwards went to his back door when he saw neighbors emerge from nearby buildings and rush to the boy’s side near a Dumpster in the complex parking lot.
It is unclear how many times and where Hart was hit. However, Deaton said that type of information will be released following an autopsy. No information about the weapon has been released.
Services for Hart are pending at Harrod Brothers Funeral Home.
Police continue to interview anyone with information about the murder. Anyone with information is asked to call 875-8523. Anonymous information can be given to Frankfort Crime Stoppers at 875-8648 or online at www.frankfortcrimestoppers.com. A cash reward up to $1,000 may be given for information leading to an additional arrest.