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Man sentenced to 54 years in prison for 2019 Jones Co. shooting

Melendez was sentenced to 34 years in prison on one count of second-degree murder and 20 years...
Melendez was sentenced to 34 years in prison on one count of second-degree murder and 20 years on one count of aggravated assault.(WTOK)
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 2:53 PM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A man was convicted and sentenced to 54 years in prison for a 2019 shooting that left his girlfriend injured and her son dead in Jones County.

Jose A. Melendez, 34, stood in front of Jones County Circuit Court Judge Dal Williamson Monday and was tried before a jury. He was found guilty of one count of second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault.

Melendez was sentenced to 34 years in prison on one count of second-degree murder and 20 years on one count of aggravated assault.

On Nov. 7, 2019, a shooting was reported on Toombs Road in Laurel around 1:35 a.m., according to Maj. Jamie Tedford of the Jones County Sheriff’s Office.

Tasha Fuentez was injured in the shooting and her son, Dalton White, 22, was killed.

According to JCSD, Melendez was Fuentes’ boyfriend, with family claiming that the shooting happened because of an altercation at the home.

Tedford said Melendez fled the scene when deputies arrived but witnesses identified him as the alleged suspect and gave a description of the vehicle he was driving. The vehicle was later found abandoned behind a business on 15th Avenue in Laurel.

Melendez was arrested by U.S. Marshals and deputies with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office the next day, Friday, Nov. 8, just before 5 a.m. in Morgan City, LA., and was transported to the Jones County Jail.

Bond was denied for Melendez when he made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019.

Melendez is set to serve his sentence with the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

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