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Crime

Williams tied to a third burglary in Vicksburg

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Vicksburg police investigators have tied Felix Williams, arrested earlier this week for two burglaries at the Vicksburg Mall, to another burglary that occurred in September.

Investigators identified Williams as the individual who robbed the BG Junior convenience store, 4110 Clay St., Sept. 12.

Williams, 30, appeared in Vicksburg Municipal Court Friday for his arraignment on one count of armed robbery and one count of possession of a weapon by a felon. Judge Angela Carpenter set his bond at $80,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

For the mall burglaries, Williams was charged with four counts of business burglary and one count of grand larceny. Monday, Carpenter sent his bond for those charges at $400,000.

Williams was also on probation on another felony charge with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. VPD arrested him for possession of meth in May.

He remains in custody in the Warren County Jail.

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.”

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Crime

VPD reports auto theft and business burglary for Tuesday

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports an auto theft and a business burglary occurred Tuesday, Oct. 13.

At 5:34 a.m. officers responded to a residence in the 3100 block of Washington Street in reference to a stolen vehicle. The complainant reported that someone stole a 2015 Chrysler 200.

The Days Inn at 90 Warrenton Road was the site of a business burglary Tuesday. Officers responded to the motel at 9:09 a.m. where the victims stated that someone kicked a room door in and stole a Dewalt paint sprayer, two Magnavox paint sprayers, a Minolta hand sander and a Milwaukee reciprocating saw. Two other saws of unknown brands were also taken. The total value of the missing equipment is estimated at $5,500.

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

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Crime

Vicksburg police make a drug bust after brief pursuit

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James Morris (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police officers arrested a man Tuesday on drug charges after a brief pursuit.

James Morris, 30, of Vicksburg was arrested shortly after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, on U.S. Highway 80 just outside the city limits. The officers found that Morris was in possession of crack cocaine.

Charged with one count of possession of cocaine, Morris appeared Tuesday before Judge Angela Carpenter in the Vicksburg Municipal Court for his arraignment. Carpenter bound him over to the Warren County grand jury on a $30,000 bond.

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