Three teenagers have been charged in the Oct. 23 slaying of Henry Adams, and more arrests could be forthcoming.
Baldwyn-area residents were stunned last week to learn three teenagers are the key suspects in the October slaying of a man on Second Street.
Equally alarming is that, according to Baldwyn Police investigator Adam Cook, the probe into the homicide remains active and more arrests could be made.
On Friday, Nov. 3, three young teenagers were taken into custody and each charged with capital murder. Due to their juvenile status and the sensitivity of the investigation the Baldwyn Police Department declined to identify the suspects, but the Lee County Jail recorded the names of those arrested as Quindaris Burress, 13; Dequan M. Stribling, 13; and Jayce Bryson West, 14. Each is being held at the Lee County Jail on $1,000,000 bonds, which were set by Lee County Justice Court Judge Chuck Hopkins.
The teenagers are charged in the death of 70-year-old Henry Adams Jr., who was found dead of gunshot wounds in his home early in the afternoon of Oct. 23. The underlying felony, which has led to the capital murder charge is robbery.
Baldwyn Police Chief Troy Agnew said the age of the suspects surprised him and his officers.
“I’ve been in law enforcement a long time and I’ve seen pretty much everything,” Agnew said. “You would think someone who do something like this would be older.”
Cook said it was not what he and his fellow officers expected either.
“I don’t get up every day expecting to lock any child up for any kind of crime,” Cook said. “This took me by surprise. It took us all by surprise.”
Agnew said the investigation led his officers to the youths, but could not speak in more detail. Cook said with the matter still being under investigation there isn’t much more he could say on the case.
“There are more arrests to come and this is still an open investigation,” Cook said. “That’s one reason we have been tight-lipped and haven’t held a press conference. What I am trying to do is maintain the integrity of the case for the grand jury, because these kids deserve a fair trial.”
Cook said some of the suspects arrested so far have had prior involvement with law enforcement.
If the three youths are certified as adults in a criminal court, they could face charges as adults. However, Cook said the suspects currently do not meet the criteria for the death penalty, meaning that if they are convicted, they would likely face up to life in prison.
The teens’ cases are expected to be heard early next year by the next grand jury. It is not yet known, however, whether the investigation will be complete and ready to turn over to the next grand jury, which is expected to convene in January.