Culpepper pleads guilty

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Brent Culpepper, 21, pleaded guilty on Tuesday at the Pearl River County Justice Court to the following misdemeanor charges: resisting arrest and failure to comply, after suffering second-degree burns during an alleged altercation with a sheriff’s deputy back in August.

On Aug. 4, a county narcotics deputy responded to a call at 3:30 p.m. from a construction worker in reference to a truck damaging freshly laid asphalt on Highway 11. The driver of the vehicle was 25-year-old James Frierson of Poplarville and Culpepper was the passenger.

The latter was allegedly injured from hot asphalt after he refused to comply with the deputy’s request to exit the vehicle after the deputy noticed an open beer in the center console. Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said in an interview in September that the deputy asked both men for identification and to exit the vehicle, which Frierson complied with. However, Culpepper didn’t comply with the deputy’s many requests, which resulted in the deputy pulling Culpepper out of the vehicle. After that, both men engaged in an alleged physical altercation on the asphalt.

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Culpepper’s mother, Marisa Foxworth Amann, said in an interview in September, the deputy slammed her son’s face into the asphalt.

The deputy wasn’t wearing a body camera at the time of the incident, but seven individual interviews have confirmed the deputy’s account of the altercation, Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said in an interview in September. 

Allison said Culpepper’s decision to plead guilty shows he’s matured and learned from the incident. 

“It shows some maturity on his part that he made a mistake and was ready to move on and I hoped he learned a lesson from it. He was in a vehicle involved in a traffic violation and in a situation where there was open beer in a dry county. Whether he wanted to be questioned or not, he was part of it and I hope he learns to cooperate in the future,” Allison said. 

Frierson also pleaded guilty Tuesday to his charges, DUI and possession of an open beer in a dry county. He faces five consecutive days in jail and a fine.

Culpepper avoided jail time, but has to pay a fine.

Culpepper did not have a comment.