Headlines – 12/16/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Panolian Headlines: December 16, 2003

For complete stories,
pick up the 12/16/03  issue of The Panolian

"… I don’t know my mother"
Capture of fugitive couple a relief
By Kate B. Dickson

For the first time in weeks, Donna Yawn can go to sleep without fear but not without some sadness.

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"I love her but I don’t know my mother," the 43-year-old rural Oakland woman said about her captured fugitive mother Elizabeth Lacy Hentz, 63.

Along with her escaped convicted murderer husband, Larry Hentz, Elizabeth Lacy Hentz was captured Thursday afternoon in San Diego outside a Motel 6.

They had been on the run – and were the subject of a nationwide manhunt – since Nov. 17 when Hentz broke out of Parchman and was picked up by his wife, authorities said.

"I hope that Hentz and his wife enjoyed their moment together, because it will be the last time they get a chance to enjoy such a moment," said Christopher Epps, commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Hentz had so much prison time imposed for various crimes he had "no hope" of getting out of prison, Epps said.

Included were two life sentences – one in connection with the murder-for-hire death of former deputy sheriff and Batesville businessman James Williamson of Oakland in 1982.

Hentz Pair Deny Identity in Court
By Kate B. Dickson

Larry and Elizabeth Lacy Hentz are expected back in a San Diego courtroom today after denying their identity in a Superior Court hearing on Monday.

That’s according to a court spokesman who told The Panolian the couple will be brought back to court once the district attorney there files formal fugitive papers.

A hearing on the identity issue, however, has been set for Dec. 29, said Suzanne Singletary, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

"It’s just prolonging the extradition process," Singletary said. "They’re saying they are not Larry and Elizabeth … we will send certified copies of fingerprints and photos to California."


A car/truck collision Monday afternoon between a blue Pontiac and a white Ford F-150 resulted in the car being pushed off the side of Highway 51 North about two miles from Batesville. Constable Ray Hawkins said the impact was a result of a rear-end collision. The driver of the car was taken by ambulance to Tri-Lakes Medical Center where she was treated for unspecified injuries.


Santa Visits Mall

Ten-year-old Callie Cook, bottom at right, lends an ear to hear what Santa is telling Hannah Malatesta, 4. Awaiting his turn to tell his Christmas wishes while sitting on Santa’s lap is Chad Mangum, 3.  Addison Cook, 3, is all smiles after visiting with Santa and having her picture made Saturday at Factory Outlet Mall.

City’s Early Gas Purchases
     Should Cut Cost Increases
By Jason c Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

Thanks to the City of Batesville purchasing additional national gas during a lower pricing period, residents should not see a drastic increase on their gas bills.

According to Beverly Comeaux, senior gas analyst for Utility Management in Jackson, the city purchased additional gas at a cheaper price early in the year to avoid having to raise gas prices as much during the cold winter months.

"Right now, the city has a storage level of 88 percent of just over 74,000 DTH," she said. "One-hundred percent storage is 84,000 DTH."

Even with the gas in storage, Comeaux said city residents could see a price increase.

"When the gas gets to the city, there are price adjustments," she said. "Those are based on a large number of unknown factors.

City Out to Make Arrests
   on Warrants
If you are one of those who know there’s a city warrant out for you, it’s a good idea to come City Hall and pay it.

Otherwise, you’ll be arrested and booked into the Panola County Detention Center and assessed a jail fee, said Municipal Court Clerk Rene Hubbard.

That’s because the City Board recently appropriated recently funds for an officer to serve as many of the 607 outstanding warrants as he can.

Hubbard told aldermen the outstanding warrants represent a total of $115,000 in fines due the city.

Hubbard said "three-fourths" of the people named on the warrant live in Panola County outside the city limits of Batesville.

Officer Jamie Tedford has been hired and will be paid $25 a warrant to serve the legal papers and make the arrests.