Hit and run suspect pleas

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 30, 2014

The driver involved in the hit and run death of a bicyclist that occurred on Aug. 22, 2013 has pleaded guilty to the charge.

Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department Det. Lance Spiers said the defendant, 38-year-old Thomas Jameson Bullock of 8 Bullock Rd., pleaded guilty Tuesday to the charge of felony leaving an accident scene causing death.

Judge Prentiss Harrell sentenced him the same day to 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with 12 years to serve, 15th District Attorney Hal Kittrell said.

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He was then sent to Lamar County to face an unrelated charge, Spiers said.

The case began on Aug. 22 of last year when the bicyclist, 64-year-old Luiz Perez of Lumberton, did not return home from a ride along Hillsdale Gumpond Road, according to a previous story in the Item.

Family members became concerned when he did not return home and went to search for him, later finding him lying in a ditch, the previous story states. The sheriff’s department was called and an investigation began, the story states.

Bullock was arrested in Lamar County for a child molestation charge, Kittrell said. Pearl River County then put a hold on him to face the hit and run charge.

A broken headlight assembly and a Crime Stoppers tip in September of that year helped identify Bullock as the suspect in the hit and run case, the district attorney said.

A second suspect, 26-year-old Brandace R. Green, who also lived at 8 Bullock Rd., was arrested for the same charge, the previous story states.

Kittrell said Green previously pleaded guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact of leaving the scene of an accident, and will be sentenced soon.

Motorists should be aware that Mississippi law provides protection for bicyclists using public roadways, Kittrell said.

“We admonish all drivers to beware that they should maintain three feet of right of way between a bicyclist and their car,” Kittrell said. “It’s getting to where bicyclists getting hit are more and more prevalent.”