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Three Vicksburg men facing capital murder charges after arrests in Texas

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Jacques Smith, Earnest Rogers and Jalen Hargrove all face capital murder charges in Texas.

Three former Vicksburg residents are facing capital murder charges in Texas after being arrested near Dallas last week.

Jacques Deshawn Smith, 21, is charged with capital murder in connection to two killings that occurred in the student dorm at Texas A&M University in Commerce, Texas, on Feb. 3. Smith is accused of murdering his former girlfriend Abbaney Matts, 20, and her sister, Deja Matts, 19. Abbaney’s 2-year-old son was wounded in the attack but survived.

Sisters Abbaney and Deja Matts

Smith is also charged—along with Jalin Hargrove, 23 and Ernest Rogers, 26—of capital murder in connection to a robbery/homicide that occurred on Dec. 31, 2019, in Denton, Texas.

Denton police found Steven Daniels, 22, lying in the parking lot inside a gated apartment on New Year’s Eve around 11:30 p.m. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest about 40 minutes later.

Investigators found evidence connecting the three suspects to Daniels’ death in a search of Smith’s Rowlett Texas, home after the shooting at Texas A&M.

All three are well known to Dallas area law enforcement. Smith was arrested a week before killing the Matts sisters for violently attacking Abbaney Matts with a knife and beating her with a pan. He was released on a $15,000 bond for that incident.

The three also have records in Vicksburg. In 2017, Smith was arrested here in connection with a drive-by shooting. Rogers, who is reportedly Smith’s uncle, was convicted for assault in Vicksburg in 2016. Hargrove was arrested here in 2017 for assault and armed robbery.

Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon called the three men “very violent individuals,” in a news conference.

Facing capital murder charges for both incidents, Smith is in custody in the Hunt County jail. His bail is $1 million for each shooting, or $2 million total.

Hargrove and Rogers are being held in the Denton County jail. Their bails are $1 million each.

Ronni Mott contributed to this story.

Crime

VPD reports a string of burglaries from Tuesday through Thursday

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports that several burglaries occurred this week from Tuesday through Thursday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 5:58 a.m. officers responded to 1601 North Frontage Road in reference to a residential burglary. The victim advised he discovered the lock on his trailer was broken and multiple power tools valued at $5,000 were missing.

Tuesday at 11 p.m., officers responded to Parts Supply, 2406 South Frontage Road, in reference to an auto burglary. The victim stated he saw a white male wearing a camo jacket run from the cab of his truck carrying his lunch box while the driver was making a delivery to the store.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, a victim came to the police department at 11:59 a.m. to report an auto burglary. The theft occurred on either Bridge Street or Evans Alley, sometime between Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. A Taurus 9-mm handgun was taken from the unlocked vehicle.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8:41 a.m. a victim came to the police department to report an auto burglary. A black, white and lime green Scott bicycle was stolen off the back of the victim’s 2017 Nissan Altima. The bicycle is valued at around $3,000.

Also on Thursday, officers responded to Tri-State Tires, 2209 Washington St., at 10:19 a.m. for a business burglary. The complainant stated one of the U-Haul transports valued at $9,000 was stolen Tuesday, Nov. 10.

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

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Crime

Vicksburg man arrested for statutory rape

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Carlos Tremaine Griffin (photo courtesy VPD)

Investigators with the Vicksburg Police Department arrested a man Friday on a statutory rape charge.

Carlos Tremaine Griffin, 35, of Vicksburg, was arrested shortly after 10 a.m. and is charged with one count of statutory rape in connection with an incident that occurred in October.

Griffin appeared before Judge Penny Lawson in Vicksburg Municipal Court later Friday. Lawson set his bond at $100,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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Crime

Cornell Miles bond set at $2 million for murder charge

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Miles escorted to court by Sgt. Billings and Lt. Edwards (photo by Thomas Parker).

Cornell Miles made his initial appearance in Vicksburg Municipal Court Tuesday afternoon. Miles is charged with first degree murder in the Friday night’s killing of A’Treio Markis Richards.

Miles made his court appearance in the courtroom of Judge Angela Carpenter who set his bond on the murder charge at $2 million. He was also charged as a felon in possession of a firearm. Carpenter set his bond on that charge at $30,000. If Miles manages to post his bond, he must wear a GPS ankle monitor and adhere to a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew nightly.

Vicksburg police along with Warren County Sheriff’s officers arrested Miles Monday morning at his place of employment, Tyson Foods. Lt. Johnnie Edwards, Criminal Investigation Division commander, credited a Crime Stoppers tip for the information that led to the arrest.

Police also stated in a press release that this incident was the result of a fight that occurred at LD’s lounge Oct. 6. It is unclear if this is related to the homicide that occurred on the same night near the lounge.

Police said no further arrests are expected related to this particular case.

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