Second suspect in a 19-year-old Laurel murder case in custody

Published 10:40 pm Saturday, September 9, 2006

A man who fled Mississippi to avoid arrest in a 19-year-old murder case has been apprehended in Texas and returned to Jones County.

Roderick Cross, 40, of Fort Worth, Texas, was being held Friday in the Jones County Adult Detention Facility in Ellisville.

Cross was wanted in the Jan. 5, 1987, shooting death of Phillip Coleman Jr. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Fort Worth, Texas, on Aug. 31. He was returned to Laurel on Tuesday, said Laurel Police Lt. Lane Bounds.

Bounds said Thursday that Cross has been charged with capital murder.

No bond has been set, pending an initial appearance in Jones County Circuit Court. No date has been announced for the initial court appearance.

One suspect in the case, Roland Tyrone Dean, was arrested at the time of the crime. He was convicted in 1989 and has been serving a life sentence for capital murder.

“The Coleman family can now rest and know that the individual who was responsible for his death has been caught and is no longer running free,” Bounds said.

Bounds said leads and other information led authorities to Fort Worth, where Cross was allegedly living under the name of Paul McCoy.

He said authorities learned that there was a real person named Paul McCoy living in Texas.

Bounds said after Texas authorities sent Laurel police photos of Cross under the identity of Paul McCoy, he notified the U.S. Marshals.