Review of Hattiesburg 2016 homicides

Review of Hattiesburg 2016 homicides
An accident took the life of a Laurel man. Source: Raycom News Network

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - An overnight shooting became the eighth homicide of 2016 for Hattiesburg.

The first homicide of the year was the murder of Anna Griffith, 39 of Hattiesburg.

Griffith died of a single gunshot wound and was pronounced dead on January 1 by the Forrest County coroner. Police responded to her residence after there were reports of shots being fired.

The investigation led to the arrest of Theopolis Schaffer. He was charged with one count of murder, and his bond was set at $1 million.

The second homicide of the year was less than 24 hours after Griffith's death.

Kelly Ladner, 37 of Hattiesburg, died of blunt force trauma. The crime, which was originally ruled a death investigation, was upgraded to murder after an investigation led to Joe Michael Shaw Jr. 

Shaw was charged with murder in connection to the crime, and his bond was set at $1 million.

The third homicide of the year occurred four days after Ladner's death.

Nicholas Brown, 35, of Hattiesburg was found dead in his home on Montague Street January 6. Brown's body showed signs of a severe altercation and was declared a homicide.

Shortly after his body was found his room mate, Steven Armstrong, was charged with his murder. Armstrong's bond was set at $1 million.

The fourth homicide happened on Memorial Day on Highway 49.

The shooting occurred just before 7 p.m., and a two-vehicle accident happened shortly after, which was less than a mile away from the shooting scene.

The victims were traveling in a Nissan Maxima to the hospital when they collided with a Ford F-150 at the Highway 49 and West Pine Street intersection.

The shooting victim, Madison Sims, died from his injuries on June 2nd.

Andre Baker, 24, was charged with murder after turning himself in to authorities. His bond was set at $500,000.

The fifth homicide of the year was Sunday afternoon in the parking lot of Mugshots Bar and Grill.

Corey Husband was shot multiple times in a car in the parking lot of Mugshots.

Three suspects were charged in connection to the incident.

James Malik Windham was charged with murder and conspiracy to commit a felony. Demethius K Dixon was also charged with murder and conspiracy to commit a felony. A third suspect, Chadrick Dixon, was charged with hindering prosecution.

All three suspects are housed in the Forrest County Jail.

The Hub City's sixth homicide was Larita Dewberry.

Dewberry was found in her vehicle at 3901 West 4th Street suffering from a gunshot wound.

Taiwan Blakely, 25, of Hattiesburg, turned himself in on July 10 and was charged with the murder.

The seventh homicide of the year was Anne Georgian. 

Georgian's body was found in a wooded area near her home on September 7. Police reached out to the public asking for help identifying her body.

Police were dispatched to the 300 block of Mamie Street, Georgian's home, on the afternoon of September 14 after family members advised they had not seen her in several days and requested a welfare check, according to Hattiesburg Public Information Officer Lt. Jon Traxler.

Georgian worked for the Hattiesburg Public School district for several years and was a former assistant principal at Hattiesburg High School.

According to Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler, Gus Georgian, Anne's brother, was arrested in connection to Georgian's murder.

Gus was released from jail and is currently under house arrest.

The Hub City's eighth homicide was Frank Jenkins, 64, of Hattiesburg.

Around 10:15 p.m., Hattiesburg police responded to a call of possible shots fired in the 3000 block of Prince George Road.

When officers arrived, they found two men suffering from gunshot wounds. 

They were both transported from the scene by ambulance and taken to Forrest General Hospital.

Jenkins body was sent to Jackson for an autopsy.

No suspects have been located or charged at this time.