Arrest Made in May Teen Killing: Suspect Faces First-Degree Murder Charges in Cumberland County

Fayetteville, North Carolina – Christian Jared Ashworth, 23, has been arrested on first-degree murder charges in the killing of 17-year-old Dakota Lee Johnson in Cumberland County. This comes after Ashworth was out on bail for multiple June robberies. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office stated that Ashworth conspired with two others in the killing and stole a handgun and cell phone from the victim.

Johnson was fatally shot on the night of May 18 in the 2300 block of Indian Creek Drive and was pronounced dead at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center early the following morning. The arrest warrant in the case alleges that Ashworth was involved in the conspiracy and robbery leading to Johnson’s death.

In addition to the murder charge, Ashworth was also arrested in July for the robbery of two Waffle Houses and a Circle K in the county and city. The magistrate noted in the bail paperwork that Ashworth is considered “an extreme danger to the public.” Despite this, he was released from custody in November after his bail was reduced to $75,000 with the condition of GPS monitoring. However, Ashworth is now being held in the Cumberland County jail without bail.

Ashworth’s history of multiple robberies and now being charged with first-degree murder has raised concerns about the criminal justice system and its handling of dangerous individuals. This case highlights the potential risks of releasing individuals on bail, especially those considered to be a significant threat to public safety.

The tragic death of Dakota Lee Johnson and the arrest of Christian Jared Ashworth serve as a reminder of the impact of violent crimes on families and communities. As the case unfolds, questions around the handling of violent offenders and the effectiveness of bail conditions will likely continue to be raised.