Perkinston woman dies after 3-vehicle crash

News Briefs From Across The State

By Monica Land

Victim not wearing a seatbelt; ejected from vehicle

A 55-year-old Perkinston woman has died of her injuries from a three-vehicle collision on U.S. 49 in the McHenry community south of Wiggins.

Trooper Roy Jacobsen of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said Darlene K. Kreis was one of the drivers in a Monday night collision. Jacobsen says Kreis died early Tuesday, Feb. 12.

He said Kreis was one of two motorists trying to enter the divided highway when her car collided with a southbound car driven by 21-year-old Olivia Jordan Beck, of Purvis.

Their vehicles then collided with a pickup driven by 55-year-old Charles O’Neal, of Perkinston.

Stone County Coroner Wayne Flurry said Kreis was not restrained and was ejected from her car. She was taken to the Stone County Hospital, but could not be resuscitated.

Jackson Co. murder trial delayed to May

The murder trial of Houston Lee Jones, accused in the 2011 shooting death of his step-grandfather in Orange Grove, has been delayed.

The Mississippi Press reports jury selection was to begin Monday, but Circuit Judge Robert Krebs continued the trial to May 6.

Jones was arrested in the May 25, 2011, in slaying of 64-year-old John Leo Landrum.

He was originally charged on manslaughter by heat of passion, but he was indicted on a charge of murder by deliberate design.

Landrum was shot 3 times in the head with a .22 caliber weapon.

If convicted, Jones faces up to life in prison.

Police department adds new fingerprint machine

The West Point Police Department has replaced the old ink and roller with a new fingerprint scanner.

Police Chief Tim Brinkley said the scanner was bought with a grant from the Justice Department.

Brinkley says the scanner will provide good prints and the department won’t have to bring in a fingerprint expert to map out the prints.

Brinkley says all that is done electronically, so it saves time.

He says the new technology also enables the department to have access to both the state and FBI databases.

Jury finds man not guilty of sexual battery

An Adams County jury has acquitted James Wesley Forde of six counts of sexual battery.

The Natchez Democrat reports that the verdict came this past week in Forde’s trial on charges of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy between May 2010 and March 2011.

Prosecutors say the allegations against Forde surfaced last year after the victim entered a treatment center for depression, alcohol and drug abuse and told a counselor there he had been in a relationship with Forde.

Forde denied the allegations. He claimed the teenager stalked him and sent text messages.

Defense attorneys also argued there was no physical evidence to link Forde to the teenager.

Prosecutors said such a collection wasn’t possible by the time the investigation of the crime began in March 2012.

Sardis woman gets 10 years for embezzlement

A Sardis woman has been sentenced to serve 10 years in prison for stealing $277,000 from her employer.

Samantha Johnson

Prosecutors say Samantha Johnson was working for a Batesville lawyer and used the law firm account to pay off the mortgage on her mother’s mobile home; buy her sister a mobile home; purchase an automobile for her daughter; and take vacation trips, including one to Walt Disney World.

Last October, Brown sentenced to 10 years for composing a fictitious chancery court divorce document. Prosecutors say she forged signatures on the document, including a deputy clerk’s signature, and presented the document to a client claiming the

document had been approved and filed.

Prosecutors say the sentence in the embezzlement case will run concurrently with the forgery sentence.

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