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Body found in garbage bags belongs to small child; suspect charged with capital murder

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Celeste Smith

An autopsy of a badly decomposed body found in a garbage bags last week confirm the remains belong to a small child.

Meridian, Miss., police found the bags Wednesday, Sept. 11, after Celeste Louise Smith, 35, directed officers to the scene in a house basement, reports The Meridian Star.

An autopsy showed the child suffered cracked and broken ribs on both sides and burns.

Smith has been charged with capital murder and child neglect. She was denied bond on the murder charge.

Jakie Toole, 5, a special needs child, had been in Smith’s care, the paper reports. Toole has not been seen since April; however, he was only reported missing Sept. 4. A DNA test has been conducted but may take weeks to verify that the body found is Toole’s.

It is not clear at this time why Toole’s mother did not report her child missing for five months.

Crime

Suspect in Jones County killing charged with capital murder

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Michael Shane Askew

Michael Shane Askew, 52, the accused killer of Betty Dickerson has been charged with capital murder and denied bond.

Askew was arraigned today in the Jones County Justice Court.

Investigators found the body of Dickerson, 82, in her Shady Grove home in Jones County Feb. 17. Reportedly, Dickerson’s throat had been cut. She was the mother of Vicksburg resident Tina Daugherty Cole.

Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin said at a news conference Friday that Askew knew his victim, but that no clear motive for the crime has emerged.

“It saddens me to know that the person involved in this was … a known offender that knew the victim,” Berlin said. “It was not just a person traveling through the area. A lot of people have thought that, you know, it was a homeless person just traveling through the area that committed this crime, and it wasn’t.”

U.S. Marshals captured Askew in a Nashville, Tenn., hotel only a few days after the murder.

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Crime

Vicksburg Police arrest two juveniles for auto burglary and shots fired; incident report for Feb. 22 to Feb. 23

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Officers with the Vicksburg Police Department arrested two juveniles on charges of attempted auto burglary and shots fired on Saturday.

Police were called to the El Paso Mexican Grill (3419 Pemberton Square Blvd.) on a shots-fired call on Feb. 22, at 8:30 p.m. The complainant said he caught the two juveniles trying to break into his car.

They ran toward the mall and fired three shots as they ran away.

Police arrested both juveniles, and they are currently in the Warren County Juvenile Detention Center.

Vicksburg Police responded to two calls of auto burglary on Sunday, Feb. 23.

  • At 8:16 a.m., officers responded to an address in the 600 block of Belva Drive where the victim stated someone went into her 2005 Toyota Camry and stole a Tommy Hilfiger Bag containing $600 cash, social security cards and birth certificates. The vehicle had been left unlocked.
  • At 8:20 a.m., officers responded to Ameristar Casino, 4146 Washington St., where the victim stated that someone stole his state tax refund check out of his vehicle.

Vicksburg Police officers also responded to three calls of shots fired from Friday, Feb. 21 to Sunday, Feb. 23. Officers found no evidence of shots fired at any of the calls.

  • Friday at 8:39 p.m., officers responded to the area of Rosedown and Alma streets.
  • Sunday at 3:30 a.m., officers responded to the area of Fayette and Locust streets.
  • Sunday at 3:37 p.m., officer responded to the 7000 block of Farmer Street.

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Crime

Vicksburg PD has captured third suspect in Feb. 8 Irene Street shooting

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The Vicksburg Police Department has captured Deontre Smith, 19, who was wanted for aggravated assault in connection to a shooting that occurred Feb. 8  on Irene Street in Vicksburg’s Kings community.

Sebastian Davis, 48, was shot once in the lower left abdomen, according to police at the scene, and was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Police arrested Kenan Kenneth Jackson, 17, and Carissa LaShae Branch, 22, the same day as the shooting, charging them both with aggravated assault with a firearm, attempted aggravated assault, shooting into an occupied dwelling and shooting into an unoccupied vehicle.

Kenan Kenneth Jackson and Carissa LaShae Branch (photos via VPD)

Smith will be housed in the Madison County Jail until his initial appearance in Vicksburg Municipal Count on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

 

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