Thursday, January 21, 2010
High-speed chase results in arrests
By SUE WATSON
A couple living in the Cornersville area of Marshall County were arrested on drug, evading arrest and child endangerment charges last Thursday, according to sheriff Kenny Dickerson.
He said the suspects were developed in a drug investigation. The attempt to arrest the suspects, with a traffic stop initiated on Highway 78 near Holly Springs, failed. He said the driver of the vehicle refused to stop and drove his vehicle up the embankment on the four-lane and entered Jeffries Road in the Lake Center Store area from Old Highway 78 East.
Marshall County deputies and the K-9 search dog, a Byhalia police officer and the DeSoto County helicopter all became involved in the pursuit of the male suspect after he abandoned the car.
“When he got to the dead end of Jeffries Road, the driver continued on, on a slick and muddy wood trail for about a mile, then jumped out and fled on foot,” Dickerson said.
“The female companion and her 2-year-old child remained in the abandoned car after the male suspect fled the scene. He was arrested near CC Road about a mile away.”
Dickerson said the male suspect stepped out into the clearing in front of deputies and was arrested without further incident.
The helicopter was important in apprehending the suspect, particularly at this time of year when the foliage is off trees, Dickerson said.
In custody are Stephen E. Windham, 32, and Leah Beth Roberts, 23, both of whom listed 35 Cornersville Road as their current address, Dickerson said. The suspects were charged with possession of chemical precursors (to manufacture crystal methamphetamine), with felony evasion of law enforcement, and with one count of child endangerment.
Windham will remain in custody because he was on early release house arrest from Harrison County serving time on theft-related charges, Dickerson said.
Both suspects were expected to make an initial appearance in Marshall County Justice Court Friday.
In an unrelated sheriff’s investigation, two adults were arrested at a location on Old Highway 7 South near the Waterford community following a report of domestic violence, Dickerson said.
“On January 13 investigator Tammy Thompson responded to a location at 4874 Old Highway 7 South between Holly Springs and Waterford,” the sheriff said. “A neighbor had reported a domestic dispute between a male and a female and the initial report included that gunshots had been fired.”
Thompson and other officers arrested Ralph Spencer Ritts, 30, of 4874 Old Highway 7 South who was charged with aggravated domestic violence and possession of marijuana with intent to sell, Dickerson said.
Arresting officers seized about $17,000 in cash off Ritts’ person along with numerous firearms and drug paraphernalia while at the residence. Ritts was arraigned in justice court and later released on $15,000 bond, Dickerson said.
Also arrested was Wendy Reece, 38, of 578 Old Highway 7 South, who was charged with aggravated domestic violence, arraigned in justice court and released on $5,000 bond, he said.
Dickerson said his office will file legal papers on the seizing of the money found on Ritts’ person.
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