Columbus Woman to Serve 5 Years for Stealing from now Deceased Parents

November 19, 2019

Darlene McKinley Thompson was sentenced Friday to five years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing $80,000 from her parents who are now deceased, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Thompson, 59, of Columbus, was sentenced by Lowndes County Circuit Court Judge James T. Kitchens, Jr., on one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person. Judge Kitchens sentenced Thompson to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with five years suspended and five years to serve. She was placed on five years of supervised probation upon her release and ordered to receive alcohol and drug treatment while incarcerated. Additionally, Thompson must pay a $500 fine, $500 to the state’s Crime Victim Compensation Fund, and all court costs.

“Unfortunately, these types of cases are more common, and they are often difficult to prove due to the victim’s medical state and because family members may eventually have a right to the funds,” said General Hood. “It’s important for families to make sure they are taking proper measures before drawing money from a loved one’s account, such as having in writing who has access and by keeping a check on the bank account activity to prevent fraud by another family member.”

This case was investigated by Anita Ray and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander, both with the AG’s Public Integrity Division.


Former Coast Bus Driver Convicted for Abuse and Assault

November 14, 2019

A Jackson county jury found 58-year-old Antoinette Jane Raymond, of Vancleave, guilty for contributing to neglect, delinquency or abuse of a child and simple assault, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

On the second day of trial, the jury reached a verdict in 30 minutes on Wednesday after Raymond testified on her own behalf for her treatment of a disabled child riding her school bus in 2014 and 2015. Raymond, a former St. Martin school bus driver, claimed she wasn’t in the right frame of mind at the time of the crime.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Krebs delayed sentencing until he receives a pre-sentence report on Raymond that will include Raymond’s background and medical conditions. Raymond faces a total sentence of 18 months on the misdemeanor charges.

The case was investigated by Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from PID investigator Lisa Edwards. Prosecution was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander and Special Assistant Attorney General Dana Sims. 


Petal Man Arrested for Child Pornography

November 14, 2019

A Petal man was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, Attorney General Jim Hood announced. 

Dylan Gentry, 24, was arrested at his home by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit following an investigation into his suspicious online activity. Investigators seized a digital electronic device belonging to Gentry. Gentry was booked into the Forrest County Adult Correctional Facility and is awaiting his initial appearance.

If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force with assistance from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office. Prosecution will be handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.


AG Jim Hood Joins States Urging Congress to Pass the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act

November 13, 2019

Attorney General Jim Hood, along with a bipartisan coalition of 44 state attorneys general, is urging Congress to further support veterans by passing the Veteran Treatment Court Coordination Act of 2019. House Resolution 886 would establish a Veteran Treatment Court Program in the United States Department of Justice to provide grants and technical assistance to state, local and tribal courts that implement Veteran Treatment Courts.

Veteran Treatment Courts are diversionary court processes, similar to drug and mental health courts, used for minor, non-violent offenses. These courts pair veterans with mentors to address substance abuse and mental health issues and assist veterans with obtaining United States Veterans Administration benefits that can help them with treatment and employment. There are currently over 450 Veteran Treatment Courts in 40 states and territories. Mississippi legislatively approved Veteran Treatment Courts in 2014. However, due to lack of funding, Mississippi currently only has two Veteran Treatment Courts, which operate within the 12th and 19th Circuit Adult Felony Drug Intervention Courts (in Forrest, Perry, George, Greene, and Jackson counties.)

“Passage of the resolution could help fund an additional eight Veterans Intervention Courts in Mississippi according to the state’s Administrative Office of Courts,” General Hood said. “Our military veterans have provided an invaluable service to our country, and the passage of this Act will empower our state and local justice systems to help veterans, with minor offenses, get back on track.”

Click here for a copy of the full letter.

 


Canton Man Sentenced on 2 Counts of Insurance Fraud

November 13, 2019

A Canton man who attempted to defraud the cities of Brandon and Pearl will spend time in prison for insurance fraud, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Rodriquez Sago, 43, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of insurance fraud. Rankin County Circuit Court Judge Dewey Arthur sentenced Sago to three years to serve in prison with an additional three years to serve on post-release supervision.

Sago was arrested by the Mississippi Department of Corrections in June 2019 following his indictment by a Rankin County grand jury. At the time of the crime, Sago filed false insurance claims that stated city workers who were landscaping city property caused several rocks to hit his windshield and damage it. The damage did not occur at the time he made the claim nor was the damage caused by the cities accused. Sago accused the City of Pearl for causing damages in June and July of 2017 and the City of Brandon in June 2018.

“We thank Judge Arthur for putting this con-artist behind bars so he can hopefully think about his senseless acts of filing these fictitious claims,” General Hood said.

This case was investigated by Justin Harris and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brad Oberhousen, both with the AG’s Public Integrity Division.


Former Hinds County Deputy Sheriff Sentenced for Sexual Battery

November 7, 2019

A former Hinds County deputy sheriff will spend time in prison for sexual battery of a 15-year-old girl, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Jason Pittman, 26, of Jackson, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of sexual battery. Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Tomie T. Green sentenced Pittman to 15 years in prison with five years to serve and 10 years suspended. Additionally, Pittman must register as a sex offender. Pittman was arrested in November 2018. At the time of the crimes, Pittman worked as a music minister at a church in Terry, where he met the 15-year-old victim.

“I appreciate Judge Green for her sentence and the investigators who worked to hold this man responsible for his crime,” General Hood said. “All of those who commit these types of inexcusable crimes should expect to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

This case was investigated by AG Investigators Crystal Palmer and Lisa Edwards. Prosecution was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Brad Oberhousen of the AG’s Public Integrity Division. 

 


19-year-old Vicksburg Man Arrested for Child Pornography

November 1, 2019

A Vicksburg man was arrested Wednesday and charged with one count of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Eric Maurice Wilson, Jr., was arrested at the Warren County jail after an investigation into his suspicious online activity. Investigators seized multiple electronic devices. Wilson was booked and his bond was set at $10,000.

If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the AG’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force with assistance from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, which is an ICAC affiliate. Prosecution will be handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.

 


Former Clerk in Raleigh Arrested for Embezzlement

October 31, 2019

A former clerk of the town of Raleigh was booked into the Smith County jail following an indictment charging her with embezzlement, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Helen Bounds, 57, of Mize, turned herself in to authorities Wednesday following her indictment by a Smith County grand jury on one count of embezzlement. Bounds is accused of converting to her own use excessive multiple and single monetary payments totaling more than $23,048.39 while employed as clerk for the town of Raleigh.

If convicted, Bounds faces up to 20 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Kenneth West of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division with assistance from the State Auditor’s Office. Special Assistant Attorney General Brad Oberhousen will handle prosecution.