13-year-old killed in farming accident

News Briefs From Across The State

By Monica Land

Boy’s death was “terrible” accident, sheriff said

A 13-year-old boy was killed in a farming accident in Lauderdale County while trying to help his grandfather, WTOK reported.

Authorities said on Feb. 19, Ben Hammond was helping his grandfather attach a front-loader to a tractor when the equipment fell on him. Emergency responders and Lauderdale County sheriff’s officials arrived, but Hammond was pronounced dead at the scene by county coroner Ward Calhoun.

The sherriff’s department called the incident a “terrible” situation and said there was no suspicion of foul play.

Hammond was a student at Southeast Lauderdale.

Sheriff: St. Martin students fine after eating crystal ‘candy’

It looked like candy, but 21 students and two adults at St. Martin Upper Elementary School quickly found out Wednesday, Feb. 27, that the “treat” they were served was actually the chemical compound aluminum potassium sulfate, WLOX reported.

School officials said a young female student brought a small bag of homemade crystals to school. They were made from a crystal making kit purchased online.

The student gave them to several classmates, saying they were rock candy. Some of the students ate a small amount. School officials said when they found out what was actually served, the students’ parents were contacted.

Two students were taken to Ocean Springs Hospital for medical attention. They were treated and released.

Aluminum potassium sulfate is commonly used in antacids and laxatives, but can cause medical problems if ingested in large amounts.

The incident is being investigated.

Man wanted for murder in Texas found



Matthew William Woychik

A 21-year-old man is in custody in Mississippi as a suspect in the murder of a North Texas woman who was missing for two months before her decomposed body was discovered.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports authorities responding to a call of a suspicious person and arrested Matthew William Woychik in northeast Mississippi.

He was held Monday, Feb. 18, on suspicion of murder at the Lee County jail, where Fort Worth detectives traveled to interview him.

Woychik lived briefly at the Fort Worth home of 43-year-old Tammy Bates. She had taken him in to help cover mounting bills. A friend of Bates filed a missing person report Dec. 1.

Authorities believe Woychik killed Bates and hid her body in the garage, where it was discovered Jan. 27 by an acquaintance.

MHP to file charges against Okolona police officer

The Mississippi Highway Patrol said they would file DUI-related charges against an Okolona police officer following a traffic stop in December 2012.

Ramonia Robertson

Ramonia Robertson was stopped on Dec. 7, 2012 on Highway 32 near the Van Vleet community. Officials said Robertson was in uniform and driving a police cruiser at the time she was detained.

During a probable cause hearing, a Chickasaw County circuit judge ruled there was cause to charge Robertson with DUI-Other Substance, misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance (hydrocodone), failure to comply, and speeding.

The judge ordered the case to be handled in Chickasaw County Justice Court.

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