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Top crime stories of 2020

According to Google Analytics, the top stories published by the Picayune Item in 2020 were all related to crime.

Suspect arrested in Dollar General armed robbery

The Picayune Dollar General was robbed on Oct. 13 by a woman wearing a face mask due to COVID-19. She produced a firearm and demanded money from the staff at the Dollar General on Highway 43. Elissa Smith, 37, was later arrested for the robbery.

13-year-old arrested for second degree murder of another 13-year-old

In April a 13-year-old was arrested and charged as an adult for the second degree murder of another 13-year-old boy. Emergency personnel responded to a call about a child suffering a head wound and arrived to find the victim with a gun shot wound to the head. He was transported to the local hospital. David Williams IV, 13, of Carriere was arrested for second degree murder.

Persons of interest in missing persons case now in custody

The murder of Willie Ray Jones dominated local and regional headlines in July. Jones went missing July 6. His family held a vigil to bring attention to his disappearance on July 15. Two persons of interest in the case, Dustin and Erica Gray, were taken into custody the night of the vigil in Pueblo County, Colorado.

Jones’ body was later found off of Texas Flat Road on July 17. An autopsy would later reveal that he died from multiple gunshot wounds. Through the investigation, Austin Brookshire was also charged with first degree murder for his alleged involvement in the crime. Dustin Gray was charged with first degree murder and Erica Gray was charged with accessory after the fact. A juvenile was also charged with accessory after the fact in relation to the case.