Arlington Teen Faces Capital Murder Charge in Deaths of Two Cousins

Motive in double shooting unknown; teen faces a charge of capital murder of multiple persons

NBC 5 News

A teenager is in custody, accused of fatally shooting two of his cousins outside his Arlington apartment earlier this year.

Arlington police said Friday morning the department's fugitive unit arrested 19-year-old Julius Rollins without incident on Tuesday in connection with the deaths of his cousins, 31-year-old Martell Brown and 21-year-old Jy'Tavious Fields.

Martell and Fields were found fatally shot at about 8 p.m. on Jan. 7 in the parking lot of the Felix Apartments on the 2100 block of Cypress Club Drive on the city's east side.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, family members told police the only reason Martell and Fields would have been at the complex was to visit their cousin who lived at the complex and who was on parole for aggravated robbery and was required to wear an ankle monitor.

During an interview on Jan. 12, five days after the murders, Rollins told police he was asleep when his cousins were killed and didn't learn about their deaths until the next morning. Police said they seized his phone at which point Rollins became "uncooperative and belligerent."

On Jan. 14, according to the affidavit, police said Rollins removed his ankle monitor and tried to leave the state. He was involved in a crash and was arrested for unrelated charges as well as his parole violation warrant. Police said he was also in possession of a second phone, which investigators also seized.

julius rollins
NBC 5 News, Arlington Police
Julius Rollins' booking photo, foreground, Arlington police investigate a double murder on Jan. 7, 2022, background.

Investigators said in the warrant that a search of the second phone uncovered social media messages between Rollins and others "indicating he had knowledge of the homicides prior to the morning of Jan. 8." Details about those messages were not released by investigators.

Police said they also learned Rollins was attempting to sell a gun, "which ballistics would later identify as being a potential make and model of the murder weapon" and that ammunition was found in Rollins' vehicle that matched the caliber and brand found at the scene of the murders.

According to information in the arrest warrant, investigators also learned that information obtained from Rollins' ankle monitor showed he was not asleep during the homicides as he initially reported to the police.

Arlington Police said a motive in the double homicide remains unclear.

“We cannot and will not tolerate this kind of violence in our city,” said Chief of Police Al Jones. “I appreciate the tremendous amount of time and effort our homicide detectives put into working this case. It’s because of their tenacity that we were able to make this arrest.”

Rollins is facing one count of capital murder of multiple persons and is being held in the Tarrant County Jail on bonds totaling $205,000. He also faces charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and failing to identify as a fugitive. It's not clear if Rollins has obtained an attorney.

If convicted, capital murder in the state of Texas carries either a sentence of death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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