George County

He ran from a crash that killed three children. Now, he’s facing murder charges.

Jesse Dickerson pleads not guilty on Monday, January 29, 2018, to three counts of second degree murder and one count of felony fleeing causing serious injuries before George County Circuit Judge Dale Harkey.
Jesse Dickerson pleads not guilty on Monday, January 29, 2018, to three counts of second degree murder and one count of felony fleeing causing serious injuries before George County Circuit Judge Dale Harkey. amccoy@sunherald.com

The driver who fled the scene of a crash that led to the death of three Lucedale siblings and seriously injured the children’s mother pleaded not guilty to felony charges following his indictment Monday.

Jesse Edward Dickerson, 24, was indicted on three counts of second-degree murder for allegedly causing the March 25, 2017, crash that killed three siblings and seriously injured their mother.

At the time of the crash, authorities initially arrested him on three counts of felony fleeing causing death and one count of felony fleeing causing injuries.

Killed were first-grader Sierra Jean Dixon, 7, and fourth-grader Terra Dixon, 9, both Central Elementary, and their brother, Spencer Havard, 16, a student at George County High School at the time.

second degree murder
Terra Dixon, 9, Sierra Jean Dixon, 7, and Spencer Havard, 16, died from injuries sustained in a George County crash. The driver of the vehicle, Jesse Dickerson, was indicted on three counts of second degree murder. Courtesy George County School District

Their mother, Jackie Dixon, was a passenger in the car with him and her children and she suffered serious injuries.

On Monday, Dickerson told Circuit Judge Dale Harkey he didn’t know if he could afford an attorney to represent him because he had not had a chance to speak to anyone in his family.

He initially told the judge he didn’t know he had been indicted but then realized the paperwork he’d been handed earlier was the indictment.

Dickerson has remained in jail on a total bond of $1 million since his arrest a day after the wreck.

Spencer Havard funeral
Casey Havard, father of Spencer Havard, hugs his daughter, Tamara, right, and family friend, Janet Hannessee, outside Freeman Funeral Home in Leaksville in March 2017. Spencer Havard, 16, was one of three children killed in a George County crash. The driver of the vehicle, Jesse Dickerson, pleaded not guilty to three charges of second degree murder on Monday. John Fitzhugh jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

According to authorities, a total of six passengers, all from Lucedale, were in the 2003 Kia Optima and were not wearing restraints when the wreck happened on Mississippi 198 shortly before 4 p.m.

After the car hit a sign at the Mississippi Furniture Warehouse, Dickerson got out of the car and ran.

All but two of the passengers suffered injuries, but were treated at a hospital and released.

The two youngest children who died were riding in the back seat, one of them on the floorboard of the car, and their brother was in the front seat.

Their mother also was in the back seat.

According to the Mississippi Highway Patrol, Dickerson was headed east when the car went off the left side of the highway and hit the sign.

After the crash, Dickerson said he loved all the children.

He was tearful when he made the statement, saying “ ‘All I can remember is waking up in the woods.’ ”

Dickerson’s brother, Chris Baxter, is serving life in prison for the July 2010 death of former George County Sheriff Garry Welford. Baxter and then-girlfriend Brandy Williams led deputies on a chase until their pickup truck struck and killed Welford.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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