Police: Screwdriver used in Calhoun County murder

By Monica Land

News Briefs From Across The State

Suspect and victim were next door neighbors

Calhoun County authorities have a 29-year-old man in custody after he allegedly stabbed his 68-year-old neighbor with a screwdriver.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the residence of Earlie B. Balford on Highway 9 south in Pittsboro around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. When they arrived, Balford was found inside, he had reportedly been stabbed multiple times with a screwdriver by his next door neighbor Andy Nicholas Brown.

Officials did not indicate what may have led to the stabbing, but confirmed that Brown had been arrested.

An autopsy has been ordered for Balford.

Man killed after being hit by train

Monticello police are investigating the death of a 46-year-old man hit by a train.

Police Chief David Stanley tells The Enterprise-Journal that David Mullins died around 10 p.m. Monday when he was hit by a Canadian National Railway train.

Stanley said it appeared that Mullins may have stumbled and tripped on the tracks.

An autopsy has been ordered for Mullins.

Inmate sentenced for having cell phone

Posts on Facebook from inside prison will cost an Issaquena County inmate an additional five years. The Vicksburg Post reports that Jimmy Pruitt was sentenced in Issaquena County Circuit Court to five years in prison for possession of a phone in a correctional facility.

Pruitt was serving an eight-year sentence for a manslaughter conviction from Adams County.

Prosecutors say the sentences will run one after another.

Prosecutors said a phone was found in Pruitt’s pants on April 14, 2011, following a tip to prison officials that the man had been posting on the social networking site.

In February, the Mississippi Department of Corrections virtually eliminated all privileges for inmates convicted of possessing a cell phone.

Smithdale man dies in accident on I-55

The Highway Patrol says a 53-year-old Smithdale man was killed when his truck collided with a Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT)vehicle and then was hit by an 18-wheeler.

Patrol spokesman Staff Sgt. Rusty Boyd says H.J. Anderson was pronounced dead on Monday, April 9, at Kings Daughter Medical Center in Brookhaven shortly after the accident.

Boyd says collision occurred on Interstate 55 South in a construction area.

Boyd says a passenger in the state vehicle was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center where his condition was not known.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not hurt.

Boyd says after Anderson’s truck hit the MDOT vehicle, the tractor-trailer rig collided with the rear of Anderson’s truck, knocking it into the median where it hit the guard rail on the northbound side.

Supervisors debate employee use of county vehicles

Lowndes County officials are taking a new look at a policy that allows employees to take county-owned vehicles home at night.

The Dispatch newspaper reports that the Board of Supervisors began to examine the policy after County Administrator Ralph Billingsley suggested that administrative personnel commute back and forth in their personal vehicles.

Billingsley said that should not apply to road department employees who respond to emergencies.

Billingsley said E911 Director Sheri Fancher, Lowndes Emergency Management Agency Director Cindy Lawrence, Fire Coordinator Sammy Fondren, Juvenile Detention Center Administrator Anthony Nelson and Youth Court Bailiff Joe Richardson take county vehicles home at night.

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