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2nd arrest made in mother's murder at Riverside gas station

Sahara Barkley, 24, shot dead on New Year's Day

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police have made a second arrest in the death of a local mother who was shot and killed New Year's Day at a gas station in Riverside, News4Jax has learned.

Shawntez Edmondson, 23, was arrested during a traffic stop April 25 in connection with the death of Sahara Barkley, 24. Jacksonville police said Edmondson stole Barkley's car moments before Barkley was shot.

Wednesday, a pretrial hearing was held at the Duval County Courthouse. Tairrah McGriff, 22, is the woman charged with Barkley's murder. McGriff's attorney waived her right to appear before the judge. She was arrested in January after surrendering to police.

Barkley's family, including her mother, Rose Brooks-White, was there for the hearing. Brooks-White said she's daunted whenever she visits the courthouse.

"It's an awkward feeling because (of) the things that go through your mind when you have to see someone who took a life that was so precious," Brooks-White said.

On New Year's Day, police said Barkley went to the BP gas station on Stockton Street, where she was followed into the convenience store by McGriff. The two women got into an altercation after Edmondson drove off in Barkley's unlocked car, police said. Witnesses told police Edmondson and McGriff were together.

Brooks-White said the family feels better knowing Edmondson is off the streets.

"He was arrested on April 25, which gives us a little bit more peace about the whole ordeal," Brooks-White said.

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Barkley left behind a 2-year-old son. Brooks-White said she has a lot to say to Edmondson and McGriff, but is waiting for the right moment.

Edmonson is charged with motor vehicle theft, knowingly operating on a suspended license, possession of controlled substance and possession of weapon by a convicted felon. His first court appearance is scheduled for May 17.

Jury selection in McGriff's murder trial begins in June.


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