News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Trooper on duty for six years
A Mississippi state trooper remains on administrative leave after being arrested on statutory rape charges. Otis Taylor, a trooper based in the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Brookhaven substation, was arrested Dec. 31 in Franklin County
Warren Strain, spokesman for the highway patrol, said Taylor is on leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
Taylor has worked for the highway patrol since November 2007.
Taylor was arrested by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, but the Department of Public Safety is conducting its own inquiry.
Details of the case have not been released.
Police said a 22-year-old Pascagoula man died when his vehicle left the roadway and struck a utility pole. Lt. Jeff Barnes of the Pascagoula Police Department said Jessie Hughes died in Saturday’s crash.
Barnes says a passenger in the vehicle, 22-year-old Donovan Gordon, also of Pascagoula was extricated from the vehicle by Pascagoula Fire Department personnel. He was taken to Singing River Hospital with moderate injuries.
Woman appeals conviction in shooting death
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear an appeal from an Oktibbeha County woman convicted in the shooting death of her husband, who was killed while the couple was hunting.
Verina Childs was convicted of murder in 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors say Douglas Childs was shot to death on Nov. 22, 2009, while he and wife were hunting at a nearby club.
Verina Childs claimed she was a home when the shooting occurred because she had gotten sick while out in the woods. She said she learned of her husband’s death when a neighbor came by.
Pedestrian killed on Highway 78
A pedestrian was struck and killed on the night of Dec. 20, on Highway 78 near the Peppertown exit.
It happened around 6:45 p.m. on the eastbound side of the roadway.
Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Hall said it appeared 70-year-old John Yarbough of Meridian had left his vehicle further down the road for an unknown reason.
Hall said the man was hit while trying to cross the highway.
Traffic was blocked while emergency responders were dealing with the accident, but the highway has since reopened.