Hattiesburg man sentenced to life in prison after 2011 murder - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Hattiesburg man sentenced to life in prison after 2011 murder

Posted: Updated:
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A 28 year-old Hattiesburg man has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2011 murder of a former USM women's basketball player.

A jury deliberated for only 30 minutes before finding Jarius Collins guilty of murder. 

"The Police Department of Hattiesburg has done a wonderful job," said mother of Ebony, Regina Dixon. "They are hard workers working for the citizens."

The body of 27 year-old Ebony Jenkins was found in a wooded area off West 7th St. across Highway 49 from Hillcrest dorm. 

Prosecutors described their relationship as acquaintances. 

The state said the murder was premeditated, that Collins had planned it for some time. The motive remains unclear. 

In court, prosecutors say Collins shot her in the back twice, she had a lighter in one hand and a cigarette in the other. 

"We just thank God that the justice system has prevailed today," said father of Ebony, Louis Dixon. "He won't be able to do what he done to our daughter to anyone else's daughter, so we just thank God for justice in the courtroom."

Collins was sentences as habitual offender since he is also a registered sex offender and served time for sexual battery on a minor in 2004.

Copyright 2013 WDAM. All rights reserved.