Arrests-Wright murder

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Four arrested in Wright death

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville police have charged four men with murder following last Monday’s shooting on Vance Street that killed Jeremiah Wright.

Marico L. Fondren, 17; Marcus T. Wheatley, 28; Micheal D. Fondren, 22; and Jayson D. Dishmon, 28, were arrested Tuesday, January 17, the day after the broad daylight, gang-style shooting that fatally wounded the 23-year-old Wright.

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Batesville Police Department Detective Captain Paul Shivers said the men were charged based on witness interviews.

“We’ve still got lots and lots of people to talk to,”  Shivers said. “Some witnesses left the city of Batesville who have information,” he added.

Shivers urged anyone with information about Wright’s shooting to come forward and tell police what they know. “We know some of their names, they’re involved in some of this gang activity,” he added.

Over 60 people have been interviewed to date during the investigation, according to the detective.
One gun believed to have been used has been recovered during the investigation, “but there’s some that we’ve got to recover,” Shivers said.

“Since Monday we’ve had a mix of nine additional officers on the street to boost patrol,” Deputy Police Chief Don Province said. “We’ve had a lot of assistance,” with two officers assigned to BPD from the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, a Mississippi Bureau of Investigation officer and the Mississippi Crime Lab assisting with patrol and in the investigation.

The Monday shooting spawned perhaps two or three additional incidents and dozens of rumors about shots fired and other gang activity.

“Facebook just threw everything out of whack,” Shivers said, referring to the viral nature of social media.

What happened:
•   Shootings into homes on two occasions: Monday night, January 17 on Ridge Road; Tuesday night, January 18 on Tubbs Road. The police and sheriff’s department have not conclusively linked those shootings to Wright’s;

•   A drive-by shooting early Friday evening at Green Hill Subdivision in Sardis.

“They shot through the windshield, hit one in the leg, not serious,” Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said. The other victim was slightly grazed. One was taken by ambulance for medical treatment; the other transported by private vehicle. Law enforcement officials were searching for two suspects, he added.

•   On Gay Street in an unrelated incident Friday night, a man fled on foot when a deputy sheriff confronted him about an outstanding warrant.

What did not happen:
•   There was no incident at Wal-Mart — no lockdown or law enforcement related helicopter activity, Province said, contrary to rumors that arose during the weekend.

•   No shots were fired in the Red Hill area on Sunday. The sound of fireworks that accompanied the Magnolia Monastery’s celebration of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year were thought to have triggered reports of gunfire.

“We’ve been getting calls of shooting and we would be right there where they were talking about,” Shivers said.

The Batesville officers also questioned whether false shooting reports are called in to distract police.

“That’s dangerous for the public and for us,” the detective added.