Charges upgraded in fatal hit-and-run, $3 million bond set

Charges upgraded in fatal hit-and-run, $3 million bond set
Brandon Chance Eaton/Photo credit: Lamar Co. Jail

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A Lamar County man charged in connection to a hit-and-run crash that killed two volunteer firefighters is now facing additional charges, and a $3 million bond.

According to Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel, Brandon Chance Eaton has been charged with three counts of aggravated DUI, in connection to the fatal crash. He made his initial appearance before Lamar County Justice Court Judge Bill Anderson Wednesday, where his bond was set at a $1 million cash, on each of the three new charges.

"Eaton was under the influence and his blood alcohol content came back from the lab and it showed it was well above the legal limit of .08," Rigel said. "The full toxicology report showing any other chemicals or drugs will take a few weeks."

Clinton Alvin Beasley, 80, and Loretta Ann Sykes, 53, were pronounced dead at the scene off Mississippi 589 on Wednesday, March 15, by Lamar County Coroner Cody Creel. Another volunteer firefighter, Shaun Huhn, was transported by ambulance to Forrest General Hospital and has since been released.

Eaton, 31, was previously charged with one count of leaving the scene of an accident causing death, and his bond was set at $100,000.

"Each of the new charges carries a 25-year sentence, along with the 20 years for the previous charge, so he could be looking at around 95 years," Rigel said.

Eaton also 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 felony charges in Jeff Davis County, and stated in court he was out on bond from Jeff Davis County, where he was also held in custody in 2016.