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Forensics help lead to arrests in triple murder

Mother and two sons killed almost a year ago
Posted at 7:20 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 22:20:40-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A man is charged with murder nearly a year after a woman and her sons were found shot and killed.

John Edwards James has been in the Pima County Jail since July; not for murder but for drugs police say they found when they did a search connected to the murder. Now they say they’ve pulled together other evidence to make a murder case.

It was July 1st, when family members checked on the people at a home on Toronto Street, near Stella and Pantano. Tucson Police say they found three people shot to death inside.

Police say they were 44 year old Willona Ametrice White and her sons, 18 year old Talmadge Holmes, Junior and 14 year old Jaden White

As part of the search warrants for the homicide, police searched an apartment near Glenn and Columbus. Police say White’s estranged husband John Edwards James lived there. Police say they found 50 Fentanyl pills in his apartment but also bloody clothing, ammunition and firearm accessories.

James was still in jail as the drug case moved through the courts when Tucson Police added first degree murder charges from the Toronto Street killings.

Police say forensics tests and additional investigative interviews led to the new charges–including statements from James' girlfriend who told police James had access to her two 9mm pistols and their ammunition. Police say that woman’s guns were not used in the killings but they found ammunition at the murder scene that matched the ammunition she had.

Police say they found James’ DNA in the murder house, and on a gym bag in an alley nearby but police do say James did visit the house because he shared custody with Willona White of two dogs there.

James had been jailed pending 25 thousand dollars on the drug charges. The murder charges add 1 million dollars to the bond.