Grand jury issues murder indictments
By By Suzanne Monk / managing editor
April 17, 2004
A mother and her son have been indicted for murder in the alleged beating death of the mother's boyfriend.
The indictments, issued by a Lauderdale County grand jury earlier this month, entered the public record on Friday.
Marlon Maurice Davis died Aug. 17, 2003.
Indicted for murder in connection with his death were: Barbara Lynn Chapman, 40, of 3810 10th St.; and her son, Eric Pierre McDowell, 18, of 2810 15th St.
Davis died of blunt force trauma after a nighttime altercation at his apartment on 35th Avenue in Meridian.
Police detectives Joe Boswell, M.J. Hoadley and Carl Merchant arrested the suspects the following day near 19th Street and 14th Avenue.
The indictments allege that Chapman and McDowell caused the victim's death by "hitting him with a wooden stick (pole) and by kicking him."
Both defendants are free on $50,000 bond.
The grand jury also indicted a Meridian man for DUI manslaughter in the July 14, 2003, death of 44-year-old Debra Bell.
The traffic collision that caused Bell's death happened about 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Russell-Mt. Gilead Road and KOA Campground Road.
Bell was a passenger in a van that was also carrying seven children under the age of 11. The children and the van's driver were treated in local emergency rooms.
The driver of the car that struck the van was Kelvin "Snapper" Sumrall, 26, of 9524 Pine Creek Road. Sumrall was arrested in August 2003 after sheriff's investigators received test results from the Mississippi Crime Lab.
The DUI manslaughter indictment against Sumrall alleges that he ran a stop sign, causing the collision, and had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 percent
Three other men in Sumrall's vehicle fled the scene of the accident and were later charged with misdemeanors.
Sumrall is free on $20,000 bond.