Lauderdale County Sheriff: Domestic dispute led to fatal shooting in Toomsuba


Details in a Tuesday fatal shooting in Toomsuba were released during a press conference Wednesday. 

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said around 4:08 p.m., authorities were called to  Prisock Road near I-20 where they found an unresponsive man who had been shot in the leg.

Investigators determined the man, who later died, was shot at a residence near the intersection. He was identified as Willie James Sturdivant Jr., 40, of the Lauderdale Community. 

Sollie said Sturdivant's mother performed medical care before law enforcement arrived, but he died before he could be treated.

Charged in the shooting was Jimmy Marquez Johnson, 20, who turned himself in to police. Johnson was charged with murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm and was held on bonds totaling $105,000. 

A second suspect, Jannetta L. Lard, 28 of Meridian was captured by Meridian Police Department officers and charged with accessory after the fact. Her bond was set at $20,000. 

The arrests came after Lard and Sturdivant got into a fight Monday night in York, Alabama, Sollie said. The argument escalated Tuesday afternoon in Toomsuba, where Johnson shot Sturdivant while Lard drove the getaway car, the sheriff said.

Tuesday night, authorities had three possible suspects in the case. A woman at the scene of the shooting was taken into custody and later released without being charged. 

"We have no indication that she was involved in the shooting or the cover-up of the shooting,” Sollie said.

Sollie said this not the first time Johnson has been in trouble with the law. In March 2016, he pleaded guilty to an attempted murder charge and was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison, with 18 years suspended, Sollie said. Johnson was released on probation after serving about 800 days, according to Sollie. 

Sollie said Tuesday’s murder was the second for the county in 2019.

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