County records most murders in recent memory in 2017

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, January 2, 2018

County records most murders in recent memory in 2017

By Rita Howell
Nine murders were committed in Panola County during 2017, the most of any year in recent memory.
Over the past seven years, Panolian archives reveal the following numbers: 2016, six murders; 2015, two murders; 2014, five murders; 2013, three murders; 2012, six murders; 2011, three murders.
Six of the nine killings reported in 2017 were related to domestic violence.
The others were the result of gun violence, and at least one of them was gang-related.

Shoot out
One man was dead and four others injured in a hail of gunfire January 20 near Como. Ronnie Petty, 28, of Como was pronounced dead at the hospital. The others did not have life-threatening injuries. Sheriff Dennis Darby said two groups were arguing and fighting on Smart Road. Investigators recovered approximately 60 spent shells.
“I don’t know how they kept from shooting more people,” Darby said.

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Son charged in father’s death
Alderious Nicholson, 17, was charged with the shooting death of his father, Alfred Nicholson of 350 Greenbriar near Courtland, on January 25. Nicholson was killed with a .16 guage shotgun shot to the chest.

Man shot in car
Roary Ledell Thomas was shot to death as he sat in a car on Bradford Street in Batesville March 2. The prime suspect in the murder, 16-year-old Cordarius D. Strong of Batesville, eluded capture for nearly three months until he was arrested in Memphis May 26. A second suspect, Nakia Lamar, 18, of Sardis, was quickly arrested following the murder. Also charged as accessories were several members of Strong’s family, who allegedly aided him in his flight from law enforcement.

Apparently ongoing domestic issues between boyfriend Laterick Dunlap and girlfriend Kabreja Kearriel Wortham led to the stabbing death of Dunlap at a residence on Atkins Street in Sardis May 11. Wortham, 17, was charged as an adult with murder.

Crenshaw murder
Two men were arrested following the shooting death of Lacy White Jr. on Old Highway Rd. near Crenshaw on June 4. James Turner of Crenshaw was charged with capital murder and Glen Richardson of Memphis was charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder. Three 9mm spent casings were found beside the body as well as what was thought to be a marijuana cigarette and a bag of white crystal-like substance through to be crack cocaine.

Wife allegedly shot husband
James Clinton Hamm was fatally shot at the home of his estranged wife on July 16. Phyllis Hamm was alleged to have shot him and was taken into custody following the shooting. Hamm had reportedly gone to the home five days after a protection order against him had expired.
The case still awaits final reports from state pathologists before it can be considered by the grand jury.

Card game death
Craig Harris, 53, of Fogg Road, Batesville, confessed to shooting his former girlfriend, Ebony Garcia, 34, July 29 at the home of her friend, also on Fogg Road, where she had gone to play cards. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Son/father domestic violence
Mason Scallions, was charged with the stabbing death of his father, Ronnie Scallions, in the parking lot of the family owned restaurant, The Pier, at Sardis Lake.
Like the Hamm case, the Scallions case awaits forensic reports before it can be presented to the grand jury.

Thanksgiving murder
Domestic violence may be blamed for the shooting death of Brian Kimmons, 36, in Sardis. Kimmons’ brother-in-law, Melvin Salter Jr., 37, has been charged with the death.
Sardis Police Chief Steven McClarty said witnesses reported an argument broke out between the two men at the Kimmons home over a picture. Salter left and returned shortly after when another argument broke out, ending in gunfire.