Headlines – 2/21/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 21, 2003

The Panolian Headlines: February 21, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 2/21/03  issue of The Panolian

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City Man Shot Dead At Truck Stop
Co-Worker Faces Murder Charge;
Second Man Shot Recovering Today

Police tape surrounded the crime scene behind Maggie T’s truckstop Monday, Feb. 17, where Norris Ray Leland of Batesville was shot and killed. The trucks were driven by Leland and Kedric Allen, who allegedly shot Leland.

BATESVILLE – A slain local man will be buried Saturday and meanwhile, city detectives will continue today to investigate his shooting death.

The incident, which involved three co-workers, began around 6 p.m. Monday when the regular sounds of business at Maggie T’s, 175 Highway 35 North, were suddenly interrupted by the sounds of gun fire.

Kedric Jabrell Allen, 27, Batesville, is charged with murder and aggravated assault in connection with Monday night’s shooting incident.

City Court Judge Bill McKenzie set Allen’s bond at $150,000.

The dead man, Norris Ray Leland, 32, was shot near the diesel pumps back of the store, according to Major Tony Jones of the Batesville Police Department. Leland was rushed to Tri-Lakes Medical Center where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Jones said.

Being held on one charge of murder and one charge of aggravated assault is Kedric Jabrell Allen, 27, of Batesville.

City Court Judge Bill McKenzie has set bond at $150,000 and Allen remained behind bars in the Panola County Detention Center at press time.

One gun was allegedly used in the altercation and four shots were fired, according to Jones.

Police Chief Roger Vanlandingham said Thursday the weapon was a handgun and that Leland was shot "in the torso."

Also injured was Patrick Shegog, who had a gunshot wound to his leg, Vanlandingham said.

Small Store Plan Turned Down Again

There will be no community store on Elbert Smith Road., city leaders decided.

Antoine Wren appeared Tuesday before Batesville Mayor Bobby Baker and the Board of Aldermen during a public hearing to gather community input about the proposed store.

Wren was seeking a variance that would allow the opening of a community store in an area zoned residential.

"I just want to open up a small store in the community," he said.

Judy Byers, a resident of the area that would have been affected said she and others in the community are against the idea completely.

"We have children and grandchildren, and we wish to keep our area the same as it is," she said.

Byers said traffic is already worse than it used to be due to the area being annexed by the city.


The Batesville Fire Department responded to a house fire Thursday morning at 1561 Curtis-Locke Station Rd. According to a fire department spokesman, no one was home at the time of the fire. The structure is a total loss. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Neither fire officials or Panola County Civil Defense Office could identify occupants of the house.

Supervisor: Culvert Work Cause Of 4-Day Water Outage

A Panola County family spent four days without water before responsibility for the problem was claimed.

Curt Tanksley said he had no water in his Lawrence Road home from last Saturday until Wednesday morning.

"The whole road was flooded and water was shooting up about three inches out of the ground," he said.

Tanksley, who has two children ages 1 and 7, said he had to get jugs of water and take showers at friends homes.

"My daughter and I spent the night with friends for showers because I had to work and she had to go to school."

Tanksley said he took the matter to the City of Batesville on Tuesday.

"I went to City Hall and talked to them about the problem," he said. "They filled out a work order, but nothing was done."

Tanksley said he was later told by City Clerk Judy Savage the problem was the county’s responsibility not the city’s.

Tanksley said contact was also made with Supervisor Jerry Perkins.

Perkins, in a phone interview, said the problem was caused by the county.

"We put a culvert in a long time ago and it cut the water line into," he said. "The water line was fixed, but something happened and it started leaking again."

Perkins said once he was made aware of the problem, it was handled as soon as possible.

"We wanted to get their water on as quickly as we could," Perkins said. "We got a crew out there Wednesday morning, and the water is back on."