Mississippi crime briefs for July 18

July 17, 2014 

Chief: Officers made mistake in 911 response

JACKSON -- Jackson Police Chief Lindsey Horton said two police officers mishandled the case of a 911 call in which a woman had been killed.

Jackson police received a 911 call from the home at 3:23 a.m. Tuesday about a prowler.

Horton said at a news conference Wednesday if officers had walked around the house, they would have seen the house had been broken into and they could have found 67-year-old Helen Harrion earlier.

"We will be putting a system in place so this won't recur," Horton said.

One of Harrion's family members discovered her body behind her home about 11 hours later Tuesday.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart said Harrion had been beaten, strangled and shot in the face.

Investigators continue to search for a suspect or suspects in the case.

-- Associated Press

Guard appeals verdict in fatal prison fight

JACKSON -- A corrections officer will get a hearing before the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case in which she was found liable for the death of an inmate and injuries to two others during a fight at the state prison in Parchman.

A federal jury in Aberdeen ordered Sharon Hampton in 2012 to pay damages of $25,000 to each of the two injured inmates and $100,000 to family of slain inmate Donald Reed Jr.

Hampton appealed but the damages award was upheld in a ruling by a three-judge panel of the appeals court in April.

In July 11, the full 5th Circuit said it would hear a renewed appeal by Hampton.

-- Associated Press

Alcorn County clerk under arrest

CORINTH -- The Alcorn County purchasing clerk has been arrested on a complaint filed by the state auditor's office.

State Auditor Stacey Pickering said investigators with his office arrested William Paul Rhodes, 54, Thursday morning. He faces a charge of obstruction of justice and is being held on a $10,000 bond. It was unknown if Rhodes has an attorney.

Pickering said representatives from his office spent Tuesday in the offices of the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors going through files and computer records. He said Rhodes tried to prevent those workers from carrying out the investigation.

-- WTVA-TV

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