Updated: 04/30/2014 5:16 PM
Created: 04/30/2014 12:02 PM WHEC.com
Who murdered two young mothers and their friend? Now, three men are behind bars, each charged with first-degree murder. They pleaded not guilty in Rochester City Court Wednesday. Police say they shot and killed Jermillah Simmons, Jacqueline Simmons and Michael Nelson inside an apartment on Chili Avenue in February.
While seeing the suspects in court is hard for the victims’ families, they say the arrests are a step toward justice. The families were too upset to talk with News10NBC, but we did speak with the prosecutor before the arraignment.
Kelly Wolford, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney, said, “The families, obviously, have been patiently waiting this day and I just wanted to make sure they were doing okay. It is a tough day, even though it is a next step in the process. Every day, they are still reliving the death of their loved ones.”
Family and friends saw the three men in court Wednesday and listened as the judge charged them with the murders on Chili Avenue in February. Steve Fulcott and Marlando Allen are both facing three counts of murder. The third suspect, Andre McFarlene is charged with one count of murder. Police say he killed Jermeliah Simmons. McFarlane and Allen are in the country illegally and McFarlane has been deported four times. These murders left people in the community asking why this happened.
Sources close to the investigation say the motive was a marijuana drug ring. Prosecutors say the arrests wouldn't have happened without the dedication of law enforcement.
Wolford said, “This has been an ongoing investigation since in cooperation with state, federal, and local authorities. The U.S. Attorney's Office, the district attorney's office has been all working together to get to this day. Without the help of all those people, we would not be here today and I just can't thank all those people enough.”
All three suspects are being held in the Monroe County Jail with no bail. They’re expected to be back in court Monday.