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Fifth inmate dies in a week of violence at Mississippi prisons

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Denorris Howell

A fifth Mississippi inmate died this morning in a state facility despite a state-wide lockdown in state and private facilities.

Friday around 3 a.m., Denorris Howell died in a stabbing, and another inmate was injured at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, WTVA reports.

All five killings have occurred since Sunday, Jan. 29, and three of the five were killed at Parchman—one on Tuesday, Dec. 31, another Thursday, Jan. 2, in a riot, and one this morning.

The first man died Jan. 29 at the South Mississippi Correctional Institute in Greene County . On Thursday, Jan. 2, a man died at the Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility.

Numerous men were injured at each of the incidents.

MDOC issued the following statement yesterday:

The Mississippi Department of Corrections continues a statewide lockdown for the safety of the public, staff, and inmates.

Therefore, movement of inmates is limited to only emergencies. As a result, there will be no visitation this weekend.

Interview and screening for potential correctional officers on Saturday at the three state prisons won’t be affected.

All available resources are being used to address disturbances occurring around the state. The MDOC is being responsive in investigating the violence.

Because of the active investigations, the agency is limited in providing additional information. Reporting allegations is irresponsible and could further jeopardize the safety of officers, inmates, and the public.

The safety of staff, inmates, and the public is always the agency’s focus.

The MDOC will keep the public informed as information becomes available that does not further jeopardize the safety of its institutions.

Crime

River City Rescue Mission site of auto theft Friday

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The River City Rescue Mission was the site of an auto theft Friday.

At 7:41 p.m., officers from the Vicksburg Police Department responded to the mission at 3705 Washington St. The complainant reported someone took a white 2017 Chevrolet Express with a moving-truck styled body and a black lift gate on the rear.

The vehicle was later recovered in Hinds County.

If you have information on this incident, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Crime

Assault and kidnapping suspects make initial court appearances

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Undrier Cage and Da'Vonte Lewis (photos courtesy VPD)

Two suspects recently arrested by Vicksburg police officers on unrelated cases made their initial appearances in municipal court Monday.

Both suspects appeared in the court of Judge Angela Carpenter for bond hearings, and both were bound over to the Warren County grand jury.

Undrier Cage, 42, of Redwood, Mississippi, was charged with one count of aggravated assault on a police officer on charges stemming from an alleged assault on a Vicksburg police officer Friday. Carpenter set his bond at $100,000.

Da’Vonte Lewis, 27, of Dixon Mills, Alabama, faced numerous charges including two counts of kidnapping, one count of auto burglary, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with a carjacking incident Sunday. Carpenter set Lewis’ bond set at $300,000.

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Crime

Suspect in custody after kidnapping, auto burglary

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Devonte Lewis (photo courtesy of VPD)

At 3:10 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020,  officers were dispatched to the Motel 6, 4137 I-20 Frontage Road, where a victim reported that a black male had broken into his vehicle and stolen a handgun.

The suspect, Devonte Lewis, 27, of Dixon Mills, Alabama, then approached the driver of a 2005 GMC Yukon, brandishing the weapon, and made the driver and a female passenger drive him away.  Officers located the Yukon several minutes later at the intersection of Mission 66 and Clay Street, stopping it in the convenience store parking lot.  

Lewis was taken into custody without further incident, the stolen handgun was recovered in his possession, and the occupants of the vehicle were rescued unharmed. 

Lewis is being charged with two counts of kidnapping, one count of auto burglary, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

He is being held without bond pending his initial appearance in Vicksburg Municipal Court.

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