Meridian Star

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April 19, 2013

Arrest made in county murder

MERIDIAN —     Authorities with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said they have made an arrest in the Monday fatal shooting of a Meridian man.

    LCSD Chief Dep. Ward Calhoun said Thursday afternoon that Jermaine Dashun Conner, 30, was charged with murder in the death of 34-year-old Antonio Dewayne Amerson. Calhoun said Conner was placed on $250,000 bond and is currently being held in the Lauderdale County jail in Meridian.

    Calhoun said a second person is being sought now by local authorities.

    Shortly before 10 a.m. Monday, Sheriff Billy Sollie said a motorist traveling down Burrage Road in the southwest part of Lauderdale County came across the body of a black man lying in the middle of the road. Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler later identified the man as Amerson.

    Calhoun said Thursday afternoon the preliminary report from the state medical examiner's office stated Amerson had been shot twice, once in the shoulder and once in the back.

    A Ford truck thought to have been seen at the crime scene was found later Monday abandoned behind a church. As a result of processing the truck and running the license plates, Conner was brought in for questioning Tuesday and held overnight. He was released Wednesday but some evidence and information from people who came forward late Wednesday and early Thursday led to Conner's arrest, officials said.

    "Our investigators have all worked long hours on this ever since it happened," Calhoun said. "This case has gone up and down like no other in recent memory. First we have something and then we don't, and then we do again. It's been a roller coaster."

    Calhoun said more physical evidence was discovered Thursday by LCSD deputies as they patrolled along Meehan Savoy Road. Citing an active investigation, Calhoun didn't say what the evidence was nor just how much of an impact on the case it had.

    "I will say that with new evidence and information from interviews taken from witnesses and family members, the investigators felt confident enough to get the warrant issued and to get Conner into custody," Calhoun said.

    Calhoun said anyone with information about the second person said to have been in the truck with Conner is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 601-485-1860.

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