Quietly seated on the back row of the courtroom, Bobby Waldron’s wife held hands with loved ones and dabbed at tears that fell onto her cheeks.
She did so while watching her husband stand to face a capital murder charge against him Wednesday that was bound over to the Panola County Grand Jury.
Waldron, 41, of Pontotoc, is accused of luring Tina Marie Dover, 15, of Ecru, to Batesville where she was brutally murdered last week.
The victim was a 10th grader at Pontotoc High School.
Her grandparents were also in the courtroom to watch the proceedings.
Waldron, who sported a scruffy beard and wore faded black prisoner-striped pants and a blue t-shirt, was seated in a metal folding chair on the right side of the courtroom near the front. He was under the watchful eyes of about 12 city police officers who ringed the municipal court chamber. More officers stood guard outside.
Dover’s mother was quoted last week as saying police told her that her daughter was sexually assaulted and strangled.
Municipal Judge William H. McKenzie III read the affidavit filed by BPD Lt. Paul Shivers which accuses Waldron of the capital murder "in room 224 of the Hampton Inn in Batesville."
The slaying charge is a capital crime due to the underlying felony allegation he killed the teen during the felonious abuse or battery of a child, the judge explained.
McKenzie told Waldron he would not ask for a plea from the defendant and said, "This is the first of many steps of this process. You will have the opportunity to ask questions.
"You will not be required to testify against yourself," the judge told Waldron, " … and you have the right to an attorney and to meet with your attorney and family and friends under reasonable conditions."
Waldron is being held in the Panola County Detention Center.
McKenzie, who was flanked on his left by Batesville Police Chief Roger Vanlandingham, told Waldron he has a "right to a preliminary hearing to determine probable cause" as to whether he should be held on the charge or not.
Later in the day, McKenzie appointed Panola County Public Defender David Walker as Waldron’s attorney. The judge said papers were also signed that waived the preliminary hearing.