Suspect in Lamar County murder denied bond

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Bond was denied Tuesday for a man charged with one felony count of murder in Lamar County.

Ronnel Phillips, 19, was arrested around 2:00am Monday morning in Cleveland, Mississippi. Approximately 24 hours after he allegedly shot and killed the mother of the girl he was dating.

Authorities say Cassandra Rice, 36, was shot in the head while she was sleeping. Deputies say the gunman apparently shot into Rice's home on Sullivan-Killrain road about 5:00am Sunday. The woman's teen aged daughter was also in the home.

"Definitely tragic, but it wasn't a random act of violence," said Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel. "The individuals, the victim, and the suspect, knew each other. Uh, it was just tragic."

Phillips made his initial court appearance in Purvis Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, authorities say certain evidence at the scene may indicate a second suspect could have been involved.

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