Tablet Local

Third person charged in kidnapping and brutal slaying of Fort Worth woman

A third person was charged Thursday in connection with last month’s kidnapping and brutal slaying of a Fort Worth woman whose body was found in Rockwood Park, court records show.

Shawna L. Cooper, 34, was arrested in connection with the case on Monday and remained in the Mansfield jail Thursday with bail set at $500,000.

Police say Cooper is friends with Jennifer Sullivan Cooley, who also goes by the last name of Gonzales, and Joshua Gonzales, who were charged last month with capital murder in connection with the death of 29-year-old Ryan Major Rice.

She is accused of participating with the couple in the kidnapping and subsequent slaying of Rice, according to homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson.

Arrest warrant affidavits allege that the couple attacked Ryan Major Rice after finding that she had stolen prescription drugs and money from Cooley.

Gonzales allegedly removed money and pills that Rice had concealed inside her body. He told a witness that when Rice then threatened to report to police that he had sexually assaulted her, he knew “he had to take care of her,” the affidavit states.

The trio are accused of restraining Rice and driving her to a secluded area of Rockwood Park, where Joshua Gonzales then shot her several times. Rice’s body was discovered under a tree 10 days later, on Dec. 15. She’d been shot in the head, chest and vagina, an autopsy determined.

Cooper’s defense attorney, Barry Johnson, declined to comment Thursday.