Ex-boyfriend held in Coahoma murder

Published 6:59 pm Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fred Lenard Jr. was being held on $1 million bond after being charged in the death of the mother of his child.

Coahoma County Sheriff Andrew Thompson Jr. said Wednesday that Lenard has been formally charged with murder in the death of Katrina Dumas.

The body of the 27-year-old Dumas was found Friday in tall grasses surrounding House’s Chapel Cemetery near Clarksdale. She had been strangled.

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Thompson said Lenard, described as Dumas’ ex-boyfriend, also has been charged with child abuse.

That charge stemmed from 3-year-old Fred Dumas — a child he fathered with Katrina Dumas — being discovered bound but alive in a rural area the day before Katrina’s body was located. Lenard’s bond for the child abuse charge was set at $250,000.

Lenard’s case will be brought before the grand jury June 3 and more charges could be brought as the investigation continues, Thompson said.

“The charges could change between now and then,” Thompson said.

County Coroner Scotty Meredith said Dumas had blunt force trauma to the head and appears to have been strangled with the same type of wire used to tie the ankles and hands of her son.

Katrina and her son were reported missing last week by her parents.

Family members said the 3-year-old boy had been released from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis and was being cared for at home.