School Vandalism Arrests

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Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said the vandalism of West and Southeast Lauderdale high schools on Oct. 2 was some of the worst he had ever seen.

Tuesday, those suspected in the crimes are behind bars.

"We've never had this much damage done to any campuses, I know since I've been working here," said Assistant Superintendent Ed Mosley of the Lauderdale County School District. "And I've been with the district some 27 years."

Sheriff Billy Sollie announced the arrests of 12 individuals, eight adults and four juveniles in the case. All have been charged with two counts of destroying public property in excess of $300.

"We have a number of confessions from individuals involved in this," said Sollie. "Some of the individuals exerted their constitutional rights to remain silent and chose not to provide us with information."

The eight adults arrested, all at least 18-years-old and students at Northeast Lauderdale High, were Marcus Sims, Deltrick Porter, Terrell Grace, Baracus McNeil, Dekenno Winston, Kalani White, Francisco Chanes and DeMario Dover.

Sollie said the case will be presented to the November grand jury. He also says his office is aiding the Meridian Public School System in an investigation.

"During the course of this investigation it was determined this same group of individuals started out at Meridian High School and we're working with the officials with the Meridian Public School System with their investigation," said Sollie.

So far, no specific motive has been determined, although assistant superintendent Mosley said it could relate to homecoming at Northeast High.