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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crime & Courts

Break-ins expected to climb in country

Lafayette County Sheriff’s investigators were kept hopping last year as home burglaries increased rapidly throughout the holiday season.

Investigator Scott Mills said while less burglaries have occurred in the county compared to this time last year, he expects things to pick up quickly. Many of the recent burglaries show some signs of semblance, however Mills said he and the other investigators aren’t sure they are all related. (December 2, 2010, Page 1A)

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    Court overturns OPD bust

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a lower court’s decision to deny a motion to suppress evidence discovered by Oxford Police Department officers during a malicious mischief investigation in 2007.

    OPD officers pulled over a vehicle seen leaving the area where someone had thrown something at a window in an apartment complex. Drugs and a firearm were found in the vehicle and Cahafer Benjamin and Kao Wokoma were indicted on drug and firearm charges.

    The two men filed a motion with the U.S. District Court to suppress the evidence, claiming the officer has no reasonable suspicious to stop the vehicle. The lower court denied the motion, however, on Monday the Court of Appeals reversed their conviction and overturned the denial to suppress the evidence. (November 30, 2010, Page 2)

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      Bogus drug outfits busted

      Two local Hispanic grocery and convenience stores were searched recently during a year-long federal, state and local investigation that resulted in about 30 federal search warrants being issued across Mississippi. Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Agent in Charge Keith Davis said counterfeit pharmaceuticals were recovered at both locations. (November 19, 2010, Page 1A)

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        Some cases not prosecuted

        At least three cases involving crimes against children have been retired to the files during the October court term.

        Third Circuit District Attorney Ben Creekmore said he could not comment on the individual cases but that in general, sexual-based crimes are prosecuted like any other crimes, however, just because there’s been an arrest, doesn’t necessarily mean there is always a conviction.

        See these cases and other results from the October Court Term in today’s EAGLE. (November 18, 2010, Page 1)

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          New trial in Bracey case

          The Mississippi Supreme Court has overturned  the conviction of a former University of Mississippi student who was sentenced to life in prison for killing his girl friend in 2005.

          David Jackson Williams was convicted in 2007 of killing Demetria Bracey, also a former Ole Miss student, with a knife and leaving her body in a closet for four days. Williams claimed Bracey stabbed herself as part of a suicide pact, however, he failed to go through with the act himself.

          The Supreme Court ordered a new trial for  Williams in a 5-4 decision Wednesday. The court ruled the trial judge, Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth, erred by refusing to give the jury the option of finding Williams guilty of assisted suicide. (November 10, 2010, Page 1)

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            Local banks robbed more often

            While Oxford has had two bank robberies and nearby Water Valley has had one bank robbed in 2010, nationally, the Bonnie and Clyde wannabes seem to be getting fewer. (November 10, 2010, Page 1)

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              Retiring judge honored

              The retirement party for the Honorable Circuit Court Judge Henry L. Lackey was suppose to be a “roast and toast” event. While many of the speeches made by about 16 people about the Calhoun County judge caused a few chuckles — and even a few tears, it was Lackey himself who invoked rounds of hearty laughter as he lovingly roasted them in return.

              He announced his intent to retire at a Christmas party in 2009. His term will end Dec. 31.  About 300 people attended Lackey’s retirement party Thursday at the Oxford Conference Center. (November 5, 2010, Page 1A)

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                No loose dogs allowed at Lamar Park

                Keeping your dog on a leash has been the law inside the city of Oxford for several years, but was only loosely enforced at the Lamar Park — until now.

                Oxford police and animal control officers haven’t felt the need to crack down on dogs running free while chasing sticks or Frisbees at the park until now. Dog owners can expect to see this law strictly enforced after a woman was knocked down by a loose dog while at Lamar Park on Thursday. The fall resulted in the woman breaking her wrist.

                The Oxford Police Department and Animal Control officers will issue warnings for one week, Martin said. After that, citations will be issue. The fine for violating the city’s leash law is $174. (November 5, 2010, Page 2A)

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                  Narcotics agents hope to keep new ‘legal’ drug out of Oxford

                  Few would disagree there’s no better way to end a stressful day than by soaking in a hot bath, filled with bubbles and scented bath salts.

                  Unfortunately, it appears those same bath salts have become a recreational tool of another kind for some people.

                  Narcotic agents are becoming concerned over reports that a product, marketed as “concentrated bath salts,” is being used to get high. The main ingredient, methylenedioxypyrovalerone, is a psychoactive drug that acts like a stimulant that has four times the potency of drugs like Ritalin.

                  “We haven’t seen any on Oxford’s streets yet,” said Lafayette County Narcotics Agent-in-Charge Keith Davis.

                  The bath salts are not the usual kind you can purchase from Walmart or drug stores like Walgreen’s, Davis said.

                  “They are usually found at shady convenience stores and head shops and on the Internet,” he said. (November 5, 2010, Page 9A)

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                    Two courts deny voting lawsuit

                    The lawsuit, filed by Earl Tucker, 96, on Oct. 20, claims the state was violating his rights by placing observers in voting precincts who might require someone to present photo identification.

                    On Oct. 28, U.S. District Court Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr. dismissed the suit which asked for a temporary restraining order to prohibit the observers and challenged the Mississippi Voter Identification Petition that will be appear on the November 2011 statewide ballot. The measure, if successful, would require photo identification at all voter polls in the state.

                    Tucker’s attorney, Alvin O. Chambliss of Oxford, filed a motion of injunction with the Court of Appeals which denied the motion on Monday. (November 3, 2010, Page 3)

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