News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
7-month-old taken from the home
A Jones County woman was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly left her 7-month-old son inside her vehicle while she went inside to smoke meth. Sheriff Alex Hodge said Toni Elizabeth Pryor has been charged with child neglect after her actions were reported to the authorities.
Hodge said responding to a tip, deputies found Pryor’s vehicle on the driveway about 9 p.m. The baby was inside and the windows were rolled up. The deputy entered the residence and found who allegedly admitted that she was using meth and Xanax.
The infant was placed in the protective custody of a relative.
Picayune man dies in Bay St. Louis accident
A Picayune man was killed in a weekend accident in Bay St. Louis, authorities said. Paul Brumfield was killed about 2:30 a.m., June 9 when his car went off the interstate at the 603 overpass and caught fire.
Two other passengers escaped. Autopsy results on Brumfield are pending.
The accident remains under investigation.
Inmate mistakenly released from Hinds jail
Leflore County authorities have arrested an inmate who was released by mistake from the Hinds County jail.
Demondrick Calhoun was arrested Wednesday in the Greenwood area.
Tara Booth, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, says Calhoun will be taken to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County.
Details of the arrest have not been released, but Calhoun was reportedly in Tchula.
Calhoun was convicted of uttering forgery and given a five-year sentence. He was being held on a court order in Hinds County after being arrested in Holmes County for a probation violation.
Authorities said poorly trained employees and an antiquated computer system for tracking inmates likely contributed to the inmate being released on June 6.
His release is under investigation.
Mississippi man loses post-conviction appeal
The state Court of Appeals has denied a petition for a new trial from a man convicted in an armed robbery and shooting at a Mississippi restaurant in 2005.
Ferlando Esco says he deserves a new trial after a co-defendant recanted testimony implicating him.
The Appeals Court agreed with the trial judge in its ruling Tuesday, saying Esco’s guilt had been established by other evidence in the case. It also said the co-defendant’s recantation lacked credibility.
Esco was sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors say he and two other men shot a Canton man in the parking lot of McDonald’s on U.S. 51 in the city of Madison. Two other men pleaded guilty in the case.
Attorney faces embezzlement sentencing
Sentencing is scheduled for a Ridgeland attorney who has admitted to swindling hundreds of thousands of dollars from his former clients.
Attorney Vann Leonard who practiced law out of Ridgeland faces 60 years behind bars and a $750,000 fine. Leonard has pleaded guilty to three counts of embezzlement.
He’s admitted to misleading two of his former clients between June 2008 and December 2011. Leonard told his clients he’d hold their money in his trust account for legal fees, when he actually spent the funds for his own personal use.
WLBT reports Leonard will go before Judge John Emfinger for a sentencing hearing Monday in Madison County Circuit Court.