$1M bond set in Gulfport girls basketball player’s death

Published 11:13 pm Saturday, December 30, 2006

A $1 million bond has been set for a suspect in the shooting death of a Gulfport High School girls basketball player.

Jonathan Barfield, 18, appeared Friday before Harrison County Justice Court Judge Bruce Roberts.

“What I feel is basically or customary bond in these matters, which is $1 million,” Roberts said during the hearing.

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Authorities charged Barfield with manslaughter for slaying his estranged girlfriend, 17-year-old Tiffany Talley, on Wednesday. The crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Barfield did not comment during the hearing. He was returned to the Harrison County jail.

The shooting occurred at Barfield’s FEMA trailer, Sheriff George H. Payne Jr. said.

Payne has declined to discuss what details led to the charge.

“The pieces of this puzzle are still being put together,” he said. “The investigation is continuing. The information, the facts in the investigation will be presented to the prosecutors (who will determine) if this case remains a manslaughter case or if it’s upgraded to a murder case.”

Payne said Barfield called 911 around 12:31 p.m. Wednesday and reportedly said he had accidentally shot Talley. Payne said deputies found Talley dead from a gunshot wound to her head.

Friends, teammates and coaches described Talley as a good student and athlete who earned their respect and admiration.

“I never heard anyone say anything bad about her,” Lady Admirals coach Otis Gates said. “She was a good student, well-liked and a nice kid.”

Funeral services for Talley will be noon Saturday at Gulfport High School’s Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.