Ad Spot

Trial for 2018 murder to begin today

Trial is set to begin today for Jesse Scott Smith of Brookhaven, accused of first degree murder in the 2018 shooting death of Brookhaven chef John Ashley Bennett.

Bennett, 42, was found by his mother on the morning of April 21, 2018, at his home on Smith Lake Road. Bennett was dead and had suffered a gunshot wound that Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins said “looked suspicious.”

Leon Bennett Jr., the victim’s father, said he had seen two of his son’s friends at the house with him the night before, including Smith. Smith was arrested the following day.

Smith, now 42, was charged with first degree murder and entered a plea of not guilty.

Trial was scheduled by District 14 Circuit Court Judge David Strong to Tylertown at the Walthall County Courthouse. Strong had originally denied a request for a venue change made by Smith’s attorney Tangi Carter in April 2019, ruling instead that a Walthall County jury be empaneled and brought to Lincoln County for trial. Five months later, Strong allowed the venue change, keeping a Walthall County jury and moving the trial there, as well.

After several continuances for various reasons — including COVID-19 concerns in 2020 — trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday of this week. An afternoon motion in limine — a request to exclude or include certain testimony or evidence — was expected to be heard by Strong Tuesday, and jury trial to begin today at 9 a.m.

News

MC announces spring Dean’s List

Galleries

Area churches, children celebrate summer with Vacation Bible Schools

Galleries

Biologist, researcher visits library summer reading program

News

Extension volunteer celebrates 60-plus years’ service

News

Police investigating 2 shootings

Crime Reports

Jail docket: Police make arrest for trespassing

Courthouse Records

Sheriff’s office reports 13 extra patrols Thursday

Courthouse Records

BPD reports 1 assault, 1 shooting Thursday

News

Tropical storms moving into the area today

News

5 local banks receive grants to invest in communities

News

Early morning house fire draws all units

News

Juneteenth parade postponed due to likely severe weather

News

Mosquito Control working to minimize pests in city

News

Aldermen approve Fire Department promotions

News

City approves uniform speed limit of 25 unless otherwise posted

News

Sen. Hyde-Smith, colleagues demand release of Biden immigration blueprint

Galleries

City sets rules to allow golf carts on some streets

Galleries

Brookhaven Fire Department fights GP chip mill fire

News

Gulf tropical or subtropical depression likely to develop; heavy rain threat to Gulf Coast

News

Treasury awards $1.82 million to Bank of Brookhaven, 51 other MS institutions

News

Rep. Guest named Vice Ranking Member of Homeland Security Committee

News

Gov. Reeves got $50 million in CARES Act money. Here’s how he spent it.

Courthouse Records

BPD reports an attempted burglary Tuesday

Courthouse Records

Ambulance service reports 14 emergency calls Tuesday