JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A second suspect has been charged in the death of three family members in Mississippi.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said Cedric D. Mason, 30, of Jackson was arrested late Wednesday on two counts of capital murder and two counts of kidnapping. He was taken to the Copiah County jail, investigators say.
Meanwhile, 42-year-old Timothy Ladell Burns of Jackson has been charged with two counts of murder and arson and is being held without bond following his initial appearance Wednesday in Copiah County Justice Court.
Authorities found the family’s wrecked and burned vehicle Saturday in a remote area southwest of Jackson.
Investigators said Burns led them to the bodies of 7-year-old Jaidon Hill, 30-year-old Atira Hughes-Smith and 34-year-old Laterry Smith at an abandoned house about a mile from the vehicle.
“The preliminary investigation indicates LaTerry Smith, was murdered in a house in southwest Jackson. The crimes were committed in Hinds and Copiah counties and the district attorneys in those jurisdictions are conferring on the best manner to move forward with the prosecution of Mason and Burns,” MBI spokesman Warren Strain said in a statement.
Strain said the investigation is continuing.
On Wednesday, Burns appeared at his initial court hearing in shackles and wearing a bulletproof vest.
It remains unclear whether the victims were in the vehicle when it crashed.
Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones has said he believes Burns was driving at the time of the wreck and then tried to burn the vehicle.