News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Bodies had been there about a week
Two bodies have been found on the former Shady Oaks Country Club golf course in west Jackson.
Eric Wall with the Jackson Police Department told WLBT that a call came in around 5:30 p.m. Friday reporting the bodies. Wall said the bodies were badly decomposed and estimated they’d been there for about a week.
Police have not determined the age, gender or cause of death of the victims.
Word of Faith Christian Center now operates on the property, according to WLBT.
Autopsies are pending.
Man gets 20 years for burglary
A Lowndes County judge has sentenced a Columbus man to 20 years in prison for burglary of an occupied dwelling.
The Commercial Dispatch reports that Circuit Judge James Kitchens sentenced Demonta Gardner on Friday, May 25.
Gardner was convicted earlier this week of burglary of an occupied dwelling. A jury found him not guilty of armed robbery.
Gardner was one of six people charged in the burglary.
Man sentenced in Hancock Bank robbery
A Waveland man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison in robbery of Hancock Bank in 2011.
The Sun Herald reports that Michael Williams Gardner was sentenced Thursday, May 24 in federal court in Gulfport. The 48-year-old Gardner also was given five years under post-release supervision.
Prosecutors say Gardner stole cash from four tellers at Hancock Bank on U.S. Highway 90 in Waveland on July 14, 2011.
Prosecutors say surveillance cameras captured Gardner with a crowbar in one hand and a satchel in another. Gardner was arrested the day after the robbery.
Gardner pleaded guilty to bank robbery in February.
DHS worker’s suit thrown out
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a Leflore County Department of Human Services employee who said she was falsely imprisoned after her boss refused to open a door when she became locked inside a foyer.
The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that Leflore County Circuit Judge Richard Smith granted a motion to throw out the case on Thursday, May 24. Emma Bell had sued the Mississippi Department of Human Services and its director, Dynetha Thornton, about the Aug. 31, 2010, incident.
Smith found that the Department of Human Services is immune from liability because it’s a state agency and that Thornton was also immune because she was working in her job at the time.
A DHS investigation found that Bell wasn’t falsely imprisoned because her being locked inside “was, at most, accidental.”
Outstanding warrant leads to meth and rape charges
An outstanding warrant led to a drug bust and a statutory rape charge in Lowndes County.
Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bobby Grimes, commander of the Metro Bureau of Narcotics, said the warrant team went to the home of John Allen Murphy, 58, of 282 Dogwood Road, around 5:10 p.m. to serve a warrant to a person at the home.
When agents entered the home, they discovered a small amount of “ice,” a rocklike form of methamphetamine, along with a small amount of marijuana.
Murphy was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Grimes said Murphy had prior drug offenses and had charges pending.
While at the home agents also arrested Levi Britton Pitts, 18, of 60 Mike Parra Road, and charged him with the statutory rape of a 15-year-old female, Grimes said.
$189k award to benefit North Central Planning and Development Districts
Congressman Bennie Thompson announced that The United States Department of Commerce has awarded North Central Planning and Development District an investment award in the amount of $189,000.
This EDA planning investment supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) in the region served by the North Central Planning and Development District which comprises Attala, Carroll, Grenada, Holmes, Leflore, Montgomery, and Yalobusha counties.
The CEDS process is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.
Kidnapping suspect arrested in Lee Co.
A 23-year-old New Albany man has been arrested after he was stopped at a roadblock less than an hour after a child was reported missing.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Antone D. Barry was charged with one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault and one count of burglary.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Hall said Barry allegedly entered a Shannon home and tried to force the woman in the home to go with him at knife point around 8:22 a.m. When the woman refused, Barry allegedly took her 10-month-old child and left.
Barry remains in the Lee County Adult Jail. The child was reunited with the mother.