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Grand jury indicts Louisiana man for murder

By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
May 2, 2002
Lauderdale County Circuit Court officials released a list Wednesday of indictments issued by a grand jury which met in March. The list includes one indictment for murder and two for manslaughter.
Murder indictment
Dominque Jalvez Jefferson of Monroe, La., was indicted for murder in the Oct. 20, 2001, shooting death of Frederick R. O'Neal.
Lt. Wade Johnson of the Meridian Police Department said at the time that the victim was from Atlanta and was apparently just passing through town. The shooting occurred on the side of St. Paul Street near North Frontage Road in Meridian.
O'Neal was transported to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Jefferson, 26, was arrested Nov. 7. He pleaded not guilty at an April 12 arraignment and is free on $100,000 bond. His trial has been initially set for June 17.
Nightclub fight ends in death
Tavio Lashante Holmes, 24, was indicted for manslaughter in the shooting death of Christopher Howard of 20th Street Extension Road.
A police spokesman said the sequence of events that led to Howard's death began during a New Year's Eve celebration at The Platinum City Bar in Meridian.
The dispatcher received a 911 call about a fight that apparently began inside the bar and continued outside, ending up in the parking lot of a car wash at 25th Avenue and Fourth Street where shots were fired.
Howard was struck by more than one bullet and transported by private car to Riley Hospital. He was pronounced dead in the parking lot about 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2002.
Holmes was shot in the buttocks during the altercation, but was treated and released.
Holmes was taken into custody at his home at 3511 Second St. on Jan. 3. He pleaded not guilty at an April 4 arraignment and is free on $25,000 bond. His trial has been initially set for June 3.
Grand jury: DUI led to fatality
In the final homicide bill released on Wednesday, 25-year-old Penny Withers Therrell of State Boulevard was indicted for DUI manslaughter.
Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said Therrell was the driver in a single-car accident that occurred April 1, 2001, on Valley Road.
Russell Dewayne McCann of Decatur was a passenger in the vehicle. He died of injuries sustained in the accident about 10 p.m. that night.
The indictment against Therrell alleges her blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was 0.17 percent. A person is considered to be driving under the influence when his or her blood alcohol content reaches 0.10 percent.
Therrell pleaded not guilty at an April 11 arraignment and is free on $20,000 bond. Her trial has been initially set for June 3.