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Two charged in Toomsuba murder

Two people have been charged in a case that started out as a domestic dispute but ended in the murder of forty-year-old Willie James Sturdivant. Twenty-year-old Jimmy Maquez Johnson was charged with murder and twenty-eight-year-old Jannetta Latrice Lard has been charged with accessory after the fact. Sheriff Billy Sollie said Lard got into a domestic altercation with Sturdivant Monday evening in York, Alabama. On Tuesday afternoon, the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call at the Toomsuba Fire Department for a man who was shot in the leg. When authorities arrived, they said they found Sturdivant lying there unresponsive. They determined he was shot in another location and that his mother was attempting to get him medical attention.

“It was determined that the shooting did not occur at this location, but at a location at the intersection of Prisock and East Prisock Road,” said Sollie. The shooting incident occurred at Sturdivant’s mother’s home on this intersection in Toomsuba. “We contacted York officials, and they provided us with possible names of individuals. We put out a BOLO (Be on the Lookout) for the vehicle. The Meridian Police Department assisted us in developing a contact with the shooter’s mother. We made contact with her inside the city of Meridian.”The accused shooter, Johnson, drove off with Lard. Johnson was inside his mother’s residence in Meridian ready to turn himself in. The female driver was spotted in Meridian and taken into custody without incident. Johnson was previously convicted of murder in March of 2016, but he was given a twenty-year sentence, where he only served just over 800 days, due to eighteen years being taken off. He was then set on a five-year probation.

“We see this a lot in our profession, be it theft after theft or violent crime after violent crime,” said Sollie. He also said this is a major issue, particularly with heavy crimes. “The term ‘Justice Reform’ has raised it’s ugly head again. Had this individual served more than the time that he served, he would’ve been in jail.” Johnson is being held on a $100,000 bond, and Lard is being held on a $20,000 bond.

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