Crime

Retired special education teacher was stabbed 37 times and left to die, prosecutors say

Capital murder suspect Scotty Lakeith Street, right, stands in court on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. His murder trial began in Pascagoula on Tuesday.
Capital murder suspect Scotty Lakeith Street, right, stands in court on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. His murder trial began in Pascagoula on Tuesday. mbbaker@sunherald.com File

A retired Lucedale special education teacher was robbed and stabbed 37 times before she was left to die in a field less than half a mile from her home, according to a Jackson County prosecutor.

That and other allegations in the the Dec. 9, 2014, slaying of Frankie Fairley, 55, came out Tuesday during opening arguments in the capital murder trial of Scotty LaKeith Street.

If convicted, Street, 39, is facing a maximum sentence of death or life without parole.

On the morning of the murder, Fairley’s day started like any other, Assistant District Attorney Cherie Wade said.

She got up, dressed her two younger children and then dropped them off at friend’s house to help her decorate for Christmas.

She later returned home and started cooking dinner for her family. She was last seen by her husband around 3 p.m. when she asked her husband to watch a pot of food simmering on the stove until she returned.

Fairley was headed to East Central High School in her 2004 Odyssey van when she was last seen.

By 6 o’clock that evening, her family reported her missing.

A couple of Fairley’s friends were out searching for her when they found her body in a field and alerted authorities.

Street was taken into custody after police say he used Fairley’s van the same day of the killing to commit a strong-arm robbery at a D’Iberville gas station.

Investigators later learned Fairley stopped at a Dollar General store in the Hurley community the day of her death.

On the store’s surveillance video, both Fairley and Street are spotted in the store together. The two had known each other for years because they both lived on Polktown Road.

According to prosecutors, investigators searched Fairley’s van and found various items, including a couple of blood spots that tested positive as Fairley’s blood.

Authorities determined what Street was wearing from video surveillance of Fairley at a Dollar General store in Hurley the day of the killing.

Prosecutors believe Fairley was trying to help Street out the day of the killing and died because her act of kindness.

After Street’s arrest, authorities searched his home, Wade said, and found the clothes he was wearing at the Dollar General dumped behind his home. The clothes had a couple of spots of blood on them.

Street’s attorney, Amanda Galle, pointed out that investigators only found a couple of specks of blood on Street’s clothing, something she called “unusual” for the amount of blood to be found on someone accused of stabbing Fairley “30-something” times.

Investigators also never found the weapon, Galle said, and no one witnessed the killing.

“When you leave here, you are still going to have unanswered questions about what happened between Ms. Fairley and Mr. Street,” Galle said.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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