Testimony begins in Jefferson Davis County capital murder case - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Testimony begins in Jefferson Davis County capital murder case

By Mike McDaniel - bio | email | Twitter

PRENTISS, MS (WDAM) - Prosecutors began calling witnesses Tuesday in the capital murder case against a Jefferson Davis County man.

It was the first day of testimony, after a day-long process Monday of seating a jury. After opening arguments outlined the case, MBI investigators, a sheriff's investigator and the sheriff himself took the stand in a Prentiss courtroom testifying to their involvement in the March 2006 murder case where Johnny Ray Sims, 40,  is accused of killing Jamaya Griffith, 7, of Hattiesburg.

According to testimony given in court, multiple stab wounds were found on the victims neck and abdomen and she was wearing only a t-shirt and socks when her body was found under a pile of clothing and blankets inside a closet at Sims' residence on Doc Bass Lane in Jefferson Davis County.

Griffith was visiting her grandmother, who lives next to Sims, when prosecutors say she went outside to ride her bike and then disappeared. Family members began searching for the girl and even looked inside Sims' home, before officers arrived, and now the defense claims the crime scene was contaminated before law enforcement eventually conducted their own search and that Sims wasn't the only person in and out of the home.

The bike Griffith was allegedly ridding was also found in the home underneath a blanket and prosecutors say prints found on the bike match those of Sims, but the defense says the bike first belonged to the Sims family , and had given it to the child's grandmother.

Prosecutors say Jamaya's clothing was also found scattered throughout the home, along with blood stains and a knife which had been rolled up in a rug. If convicted, Sims could receive the death penalty.

Copyright 2010 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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