Meridian Man Arrested for Possessing Child Pornography

April 17, 2018

A 20-year-old man was arrested at his Meridian home Monday on one count of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Christopher Edward Scrimpshire was arrested after an investigation of his online activity led the AG’s investigators to find photos of sexual child exploitation on a device in Scrimpshire’s possession. He was booked into the Lauderdale County Detention Center.

If convicted, Scrimpshire 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 Mississippi Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance from the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Brandon Ogburn and Mark McClinton.


Stabbing Sends Man to Prison for 15 Years

April 16, 2018

Julian Dodson was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday in the 2016 stabbing of a fellow resident at a mental health facility in Newton County, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Newton County Circuit Court Judge Chris Collins sentenced the 29-year-old to 20 years with 15 of those years to serve in the Mississippi Department of Corrections and five years suspended on post-release supervision. A jury found Dodson guilty earlier this week on one count of aggravated assault for stabbing a fellow resident more than 20 times in the back and neck with a knife. The patient survived the incident.

“This is a case where someone who is mentally ill unfortunately gained access to a weapon and caused harm to another person,” said General Hood. “My office has worked closely with MDOC, local law enforcement, and the facility to ensure both the victim and the defendant receive the proper care, including while the defendant serves time for this crime.”

This case was investigated by Trey Rogers with assistance from the Newton Police Department. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Katie Moulds.


Former Meridian Nursing Home Employee Arrested On 7 Count Indictment

April 10, 2018

A former office manager at a Meridian nursing home faces 70 years in prison for allegedly stealing money from nursing home residents and the facility, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Christy Moulds, 39, surrendered to authorities Monday and was booked into the Lauderdale County jail on a seven count indictment. A Lauderdale County grand jury charged her with six felony counts of exploitation of a vulnerable person and one felony count of embezzlement. The indictment states she stole more than $250 from each account of six different patients by falsifying Trust Fund Cash Request Forms. Under the embezzlement charge, the indictment states that she took between $5,000 and $25,000 from the nursing home’s Resident Trust Account.

If convicted, Moulds faces 10 years for each count of exploitation and 10 years for embezzlement. She also faces up to $35,000 in fines.  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 Trey Rogers of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The case will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Katie Moulds, who is not related to the defendant.


Shred Day Results Announced

April 6, 2018

More than 38,000 pounds of paper were shred in this year’s Community Shred Day events hosted by Attorney General Jim Hood’s Consumer Protection Division.

Events were hosted last month in Jackson, Tupelo, Hattiesburg, and D’Iberville as an easy and free way for consumers to safely get rid of sensitive paper documents. This year marked the twelfth year for the annual event, with a total of 1,184 consumers participating.

Consumer Protection Division staff Front L-R: Investigator Leslie Owens, Special Assistant Attorney General (SAAG) Gail Lowery, Division Director Bridgette Wiggins, Annie Jones Back L-R: SAAG Patrick Beasley, Shred Day Event Coordinator Lana Fuqua, SAAG Martin Millette

“The turnout for this event confirms consumers’ awareness of the importance of shredding sensitive documents,” said General Hood. “At a time where personal information is considered gold, it’s important to take the proper steps to protect our identity. This free service to the state wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors, who together are helping Mississippians avoid becoming victims of identity theft.”

The totals for both poundage and turnout are included below along with a comparison to last year’s results:

POUNDS

Jackson……………………16,830 lbs

Tupelo……………………….8,000 lbs

Hattiesburg……………….…6,440 lbs

D ’Iberville……………………7,020 lbs

Total pounds shred 2018……………………38,290   

Total pounds shred 2017………………………..35,020         

CONSUMERS

Jackson= 492

Tupelo= 258

Hattiesburg = 211

D’Iberville= 223

Total consumers

2018…………………………….1,184

Total consumers 2017………………….830

Sponsors include: Premier Shredding, Inc., Iron Mountain,  Mississippi Credit Union Association, Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, BancorpSouth, Trustmark, AARP, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Public Service Commission (PSC), EPL Inc., Eagle Express Credit Union, Magnolia Federal Credit Union, Jackson Area Federal Credit Union, Members Exchange Credit Union, CommFirst Federal Credit Union, Statewide Federal Credit Union, Sunbelt Federal Credit Union, North Mississippi Regional Legal Services, and other Mississippi Consumer Education Partnership members.

 


West Point Police Officer Arrested for Embezzlement

April 5, 2018

West Point police officer Shaun T. Keller surrendered to authorities Thursday after being indicted for stealing nearly $4,000 from his own police department, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

West Point police officer Shaun T. Keller surrendered to authorities Thursday after being indicted for stealing nearly $4,000 from his own police department.

A Clay County grand jury indicted the 41-year-old on one count of embezzlement for taking $3,904 in funds that were being held in evidence or for potential forfeiture by the West Point Police Department. Keller was booked into the Clay County jail Thursday afternoon. His bond was set at $10,000.

If convicted, Keller faces up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. 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 Tonya Mangus of the AG’s Public Integrity Division and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Robert G. “Bob” Anderson.


Crime Victims, Advocates Awarded at Annual Ceremony

April 5, 2018

As the nation prepares to recognize National Crime Victims’ Rights Week beginning April 8, Attorney General Jim Hood was joined by other victims’ rights leaders Thursday in presenting three awards honoring Mississippi crime victims and those who are advocates for victims in our state. The awards were presented at the annual Mississippi’s Crime Victims’ Rights Awards Ceremony, which held the theme “Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims.”

 

 

The award recipients included the following:

  • Distinguished Service Award: David Whitehead, Trace Evidence Section Chief for the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory

David was recognized by the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Compensation Division for providing the division with information vital to program eligibility determination.

 

  • The Amy Clayton Justice Achievement Award: Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office of the 14th Judicial District (Brookhaven), and the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Bureau of Investigation.

Those agencies were recognized thanks to their brave, coordinated efforts in response to the May 27, 2017, mass homicide that occurred in Lincoln County, which occurred as a result of a domestic violence dispute.

 

  • Image of Resilience Survivor Award: Velma Warren

Velma Warren, who was presented the award by Wendy Mahoney, Executive Director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is a survivor of domestic violence who founded Connected Hearts, Inc. in 2009. She is a public speaker on the topics of domestic violence and sexual abuse, and she opened the first resource center in Starkville that serves domestic violence victims in the surrounding communities.

“These individuals have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” said General Hood. “Victim services are one of the best public-private relationships in government of which I’m aware, and this year’s award recipients are a testament to that. Their lives are dedicated to what we’re all called to do: take care of the least among us.”

The Crime Victim Compensation Program, administered by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Victim Assistance, reimburses eligible crime victims or next-of-kin for crime related expenses not covered by other sources, such as insurance.  This past fiscal year, the program distributed more than $2.8 million to 969 Mississippi victims of crime who were in need of financial support due to injuries related to the criminal acts perpetrated against them. Eligible applicants may receive compensation for medical treatment, mental health services, funeral costs, and several other types of expenses. The maximum amount distributed per crime is $20,000. 

“Although we cannot predict what comes our way in life, victims of crime or those who have lost a loved one to crime can take comfort in knowing our state has many professionals to help them through their experience and identify sources of relief,” said General Hood. “I’m proud that our office is home to the state’s victim compensation program, but our work would not be possible without the dedicated law enforcement officers, victim advocates, child and family services, and community leaders in Mississippi who help us in making the victim’s experience less burdensome.”

For more information on the services provided by the Bureau of Victim Assistance, call (800) 829-6766 or (601) 359-6766 or visit www.agjimhood.com. This year’s ceremony was made possible through partnerships with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Coalition for Survivors of Homicide, and Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The following links have photos from today’s ceremony, separated by topic:

 

 


Man Charged with 2 Counts of Child Exploitation

April 5, 2018

 

Gregory Howard Hepburn, 31, was arrested following an investigation into his suspicious online activity. He was booked into the Forrest County Detention Center.

A Hattiesburg man was arrested at his home Wednesday and charged with two counts of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Gregory Howard Hepburn, 31, was arrested following an investigation into his suspicious online activity. He was booked into the Forrest County Detention Center.

If convicted, Hepburn faces up to 80 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 Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force within the AG’s Cyber Crime Unit. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.


Hattiesburg Man Charged with 3 Counts of Child Exploitation

April 4, 2018

Quandom Benn was arrested at his home following an investigation into his suspicious online activity. Numerous electronic devices were seized.

A 35-year-old man from Hattiesburg was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of child exploitation for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Quandom Benn was arrested at his home following an investigation into his suspicious online activity. Numerous electronic devices were seized, and he was booked into the Forrest County jail awaiting his initial appearance.

If convicted, Benn faces up to 120 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. 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 Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force within the AG’s Cyber Crime Unit. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.