Thursday, December 23, 2010
Teen shot, killed; one arrested
By SUE WATSON
The shooting and subsequent death of a 17-year-old girl in Hickory Flat is being investigated by Benton County authorities as a homicide, according to sheriff Arnie McMullen.
Officials were called to Burks Trailer Park on McKay Road in the Hickory Flat community around 3 a.m. Saturday where a girl had sustained a gunshot wound to the side, he said.
A subsequent investigation and search for the suspect led authorities with the Benton and Marshall County sheriff’s departments to a residence on South Edwards Street in Potts Camp where Cordell Robert Porter, 19, was arrested and taken to Benton County for questioning, McMullen said.
The victim was first transported to the hospital in New Albany due to dangerous flying conditions, then by ground to The Med in Memphis, Tenn., where she died sometime around 6 a.m. to 6:30 a.m., he said. McMullen said he was unsure of the exact time the victim died.
A bond hearing for Porter had not been held as of Monday morning. Porter has been charged with murder, McMullen said. Autopsy results have not yet been returned, he said.
McMullen said Porter is believed to have fired a single shot that struck the victim after passing through the mobile home. The victim was standing in the hallway when struck, he said.
No other bullets into the trailer were found during early investigations beginning Saturday – nor has the weapon been found. A Cadillac thought to have been driven by the suspect to the address has been seized and taken to the crime lab for forensics, according to sheriff Kenny Dickerson, who assisted Benton County with the investigation at Potts Camp.
Five people were inside the mobile home at the time of the shooting, McMullen said, including the victim, her mother and her brother and two other individuals.
One of the two other individuals opened the door and recognized the suspect, he said. He also believes the victim knew the suspect. Porter is believed to have fired the weapon into the trailer from the Cadillac outside.
No motive has been established and the investigation is ongoing, McMullen said. The tragedy is taking its toll on law enforcement and families especially at this time of year, the sheriff said.
“All of us feel for the family and are praying for both families,” McMullen said. “It’s tough when our county and country have come to this.”
This kind of tragic crime used to be unheard of in rural Mississippi, he said.
“Times have changed big time,” he said.
Sheriff Dickerson credited cooperation between jurisdictions for the timely development of the investigative facts in the case and apprehension and arrest of a suspect across jurisdictional lines.
“Our cooperative efforts always enhance and expedite the arrests of those who are believed to have committed crimes,” he said.
“We appreciate Marshall County’s assistance with the arrest of the suspect and with the investigation,” McMullen said.
The identity of the victim is not being released by authorities while the investigation continues, McMullen said.
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