Driver of fatal hit-and-run had previous criminal record

Driver of fatal hit-and-run had previous criminal record
Brandon Chance Eaton/Photo credit: Lamar Co. Jail

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Lamar County man charged in a hit-and-run that killed two volunteer firefighters and injured another made his initial appearance Thursday morning.

Brandon Chance Eaton, 31, had his bond set at $100,000 by Lamar County Justice Court Judge Charles Greer.

Eaton is charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death.

Clinton Alvin Beasley, 80, and Loretta Ann Sykes, 53, were pronounced dead at the scene off Mississippi 589 Wednesday night by Lamar County Coroner Creel. The other volunteer firefighter, Shaun Huhn, was transported by ambulance to Forrest General Hospital.

According to Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel, deputies that arrested Eaton said it was apparent that he was under the influence. Also, a warrant has been done for a blood test, and the sheriff's department is awaiting toxicology results from the crime lab, according to Rigel.

Eaton has a previous record and is a convicted felon, with charges from multiple counties in the Pine Belt.

MOBILE USERS: View photos from the scene here. 

Eaton's prior violations:

  • April 2005: Charged in Marion County for possession of controlled substance. He was given five years probation by Mississippi Department of Corrections with no time served.
  • 3-13-2010: Arrested for possession of meth in Lamar County.
  • 5-13-2010: Convicted of possession of meth in Lamar County. He was sentenced to four years in MDOC custody, which was suspended, and given five years probation, and ordered to drug court.
  • 9-27-2012: Drug court probation violation.
  • 11-9-2012: Drug court probation violation.
  • 6-13-2013: Drug court probation violation.

According to court files, Eaton violated Drug Court terms, was put in the RID Program and then after another violation, he was turned over to MDOC.

He was booked in to MDOC custody in August 2013 and released on parole to Lamar County in April 2014 according to Grace Fisher, with MDOC Public Relations.

  • 3-31-2015: Arrested again for MDOC parole violation. He stayed in Lamar County Jail for seven days, and then he was paroled.
  • 9-7-2015: Arrested for a misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, domestic violence and no insurance and expired tag. He stayed in Lamar County 23 days and then was released on court programs probation.
  • 6-2-2016: Arrested in Marion County for misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He was kept in Marion County custody for six days, with Justice Court contempt fine of $2,283.75.
  • 3-15-2017: Arrested in connection to fatal hit-and-run in Lamar County. Currently in custody at the Lamar County Jail.

Eaton also has charges in Jeff Davis County, and stated he is out on bond from Jeff Davis County. He was also held in custody in 2016.