Crime

Grand jury will review case against two Biloxi residents in homicide

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 
 Officials in Jackson County are investigating a homicide after a man's body was found in a wooded area in the St. Andrews community on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Officials in Jackson County are investigating a homicide after a man's body was found in a wooded area in the St. Andrews community on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

JACKSON COUNTY -- A man and woman accused in the robbery and shooting death of a Biloxi man in Jackson County waived their preliminary hearings Monday and will remain jailed without bond pending grand jury review.

Ocean Springs residents Patrick Anderson, 35, of Columbus Circle, and Rita Olivia Johnston, 36, of Rue Mornay South Street, are each jailed in Jackson County on a charge of capital murder. The pair is accused in the March 22 robbery and shooting death of Donatae Lashaw Banks, 29, of Biloxi.

State law does not allow a bond in a capital murder case. A capital murder is a murder committed during the commission of another felony crime, in this case robbery.

County Court Judge T. Larry Wilson presided over the court docket Monday and attorneys for the two said they were waiving the preliminary hearing.

An investigation began after a Jackson County patrol deputy found Banks' body on a dirt road in the St. Andrews community.

Deputies later learned a new minivan Banks had recently bought was missing.

Authorities found the two after Anderson crashed Banks' minivan into a home off Popp's Ferry Road in Biloxi shortly after the homicide.

Biloxi police arrested Anderson on charges of felony fleeing and possessing and receiving stolen property.

He was also cited for a parole violation related to his 2012 residential burglary conviction.

Anderson and Johnston face a sentence of up life without parole or death if convicted.

The investigation is ongoing. To report information, call Jackson County Sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Smith at 762-3016 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in a case.

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