Charges pending against four from last week’s chase

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Senatobia police officers holds a man believed to have jumped from the stolen pickup that led officers from multiple jurisdictions on a 70-mile chase on I-55. Two suspects jumped when the pickup crossed lanes to avoid stop sticks placed just north of the Batesville North exit.

Charges pending against four from last week’s chase

By John Howell
District Attorney John Champion is coordinating charges in four counties against four people who fled on Interstate 55 through four counties last Friday in a vehicle stolen in an armed hijacking in Jackson.
Panola County Sheriff Dennis Darby said the four counties are all part of Champion’s 17th Judicial District, which will allow him to present all charges to a DeSoto County Grand Jury.
The chase began in DeSoto County where a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper spotted the stolen pickup and, joined by DeSoto deputy sheriffs, pursued the vehicle as it fled south on I-55. The pursuit through Friday afternoon traffic southbound from Memphis was dubbed the “hell-broke-loose” chase as it extended for almost 70 miles southward before the pickup driver lost control and wrecked in Yalobusha County, just north of the Grenada County line.
The stolen vehicle’s driver avoided “stop sticks” placed by Batesville police just north of the North Batesville exit by changing over to the northbound lane. As it slowed crossing the median, two suspects jumped from the truck and were taken into custody by a phalanx of law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions who had by then joined the pursuit or mustered to assist the roadblock attempt.
The stolen pickup with the driver and two remaining passengers continued south in the wrong lanes at speeds up to 100 miles per hour before crossing back to the southbound side.
“We backed off at the county line, everybody but a K-9 unit,” Darby said. The Panola K-9 unit was left in the pursuit caravan in case the pickup occupants left the vehicle on foot, he said.
As the pickup attempted to pass a Yalobusha County deputy sheriff who had placed his vehicle in traffic preceding the stolen vehicle and its entourage, the driver lost control and wrecked, striking the Yalobusha vehicle. The two remaining passengers jumped or were thrown from the vehicle while it was still traveling at high speed. One of the passengers died as a result of her injuries.
The two occupants who jumped from the pickup near Batesville were identified as  Marquis Jackson and Jonathan Thompson. They, along with driver Delisha Bradley and the pickup’s other occupant, unidentified, are held in the DeSoto County jail.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and MHP accident reconstruction officers are coordining the investigation, Darby said.
Charges from the four counties are likely to include aggravated assault with a vehicle and felony flight, the sheriff said.
In Hinds County, the pickup occupants face charges of armed hijacking, the sheriff said.

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