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Crime

Judges agree on tougher bond conditions in firearm-related cases

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(Photo by Mdesigns from Pixabay)

If you’re accused of a firearm-related crime in Vicksburg, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have new criteria to deal with as a condition of going home until your trial.

Monday, Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. sent a letter to all judges in the Vicksburg and Warren County courts asking for their assistance in curbing crime in the city. Specifically, he asked that they add GPS monitoring devices and a 7 p.m. curfew to any bonds on firearms related offenses.

The judges agreed.

Thursday, Vicksburg Municipal Court Judge Angela Carpenter sent a memo to Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore outlining how the municipal courts will apply the added criteria, effective immediately.

For misdemeanor cases, the court will add a bond amount, and the defendant must pay the bond as a condition of their release. Misdemeanors often are adjudicated without the use of bonds, but this new condition for firearms-related offenses will be made a condition of release.

For all cases, misdemeanor or felony, defendants will be fitted with a GPS ankle monitor before they are released and will need to adhere to a curfew of 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. as a condition of their bond.

Unless bond is denied altogether, felony cases also have bond amounts defendants will need to pay.

After arraignment in municipal or justice court, felons come under the jurisdiction of the county and circuit courts. At that point, a judge could change the criteria or add more to a defendant’s conditions of release before trial.

“They all agree,” Mayor Flaggs said. “It just makes sense.”

“I cannot be more complimentary of the judges,” he added.

With the GPS monitors, defendants who need to be out after 7 p.m. will be able to go to work or get needed medical assistance, but all their movements will be tracked. They will also be charged for the monitors.

Flaggs indicated that more than 70% of violent crimes are committed while defendants are out on bond. Bureau of Justice statistics indicate that about one-third of defendants released on bond commit another crime before trial or failed to appear in court as ordered.

“These are not new criminals,” Flaggs said, and he emphasized the need for tracking repeat offenders while under pre-trial release.

The mayor also wants to see a cross-jurisdictional database developed in Mississippi so that law enforcement and judges can see if a defendant has been issued bond in another city before setting bond on a new charge. Flaggs said he will be asking district attorneys and state legislators to develop such a system.

“We have to do a better job” of tracking repeat offenders, Flaggs said, adding that “you can’t have a revolving door in the courthouse.”

Crime

Judge and son both dead after shootings in Moss Point

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Justice Court Judge Sheila Jackson Osgood (photo from her campaign page)

A Justice Court judge in Moss Point, Mississippi, was killed Wednesday. Her son, the suspect in her homicide, is also dead at the hands of police.

Moss Point police officers found long time Justice Court Judge Sheila Jackson Osgood, 65, murdered Wednesday. The man suspected of her murder is Gregory Jackson Jr. her 45-year-old son. Jackson was shot and killed by police officers.

At approximately 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Moss Point police officers were dispatched to the 3600 block of Davis Street for a welfare check. The officers checked the home but did not contact anyone there.

According to a press release from the Moss Point Police Department, officers were again dispatched to the residence about an hour later, this time for a disturbance. The officers heard gunshots after they arrived, and as they approached the door of the house, Jackson charged them brandishing a large knife. He did not respond to several demands from officers to drop his weapon and continued to advance on them. The officers shot Jackson, fatally wounding him.

Officers then entered the residence and found Judge Osgood laying on the floor, the apparent victim of a homicide.

The shootings are under investigation by the Jackson County district attorney’s office, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. In accordance with Moss Point Police Department policy, the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending a thorough investigation by an outside agency. The names of the officers will be withheld until the case is presented to the grand jury. No officers were injured during this incident.

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Crime

VPD reports auto burglary and car crash

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports the following incidents for Tuesday, Oct. 20, and Wednesday, Oct. 21.

On Tuesday at 12:44 p.m. an auto burglary was reported at the police station. The victim said the theft occurred four days earlier, sometime Friday, Oct. 16, while the vehicle was parked in the 2100 block of Clay Street. A 9 mm Taurus handgun was taken. The vehicle had no signs of forced entry.

In a separate incident, shortly before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, a Vicksburg police officer observed a white Cadillac Escalade traveling at a high rate of speed on North Washington Street. After losing sight of the vehicle, the officer continued traveling in its last known direction until he located it. The Cadillac had crashed near the intersection of North Washington Street and Highway 61 North. The driver was transported to Merit Health River Region for treatment.

If you have any information on either of these incidents, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Crime

Early morning armed robbery on Speed Street Tuesday

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports that an armed robbery and assault occurred Tuesday on Speed Street.

At 3:24 a.m. Tuesday, a victim entered the police station at 820 Veto Street reporting that he had been robbed.

The victim said he had given a Black male who he knew a ride from the Kings community to an address on Speed Street. When they arrived, the male struck him several times on his head with a handgun, causing minor injuries. The suspect then fled on foot with the victim’s Glock handgun.

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

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