New Details Emerge in Murder Suspect's Preliminary Hearing

By: Candace Barnette Email
By: Candace Barnette Email

Meridian, Miss. Sixteen-year-old Shon Byrd stood before a judge today for that court appearance, his first since his arrest Sunday night following the murder of 87-year-old Billy Putnam in the parking lot of Vowell's grocery in Meridian Sunday afternoon.

The police department was packed today with friends and family of both the victim and suspects in this case. The judge opted to move forward with Shon Byrd's preliminary hearing. During that hearing, two detectives took the stand to relay the statements from the suspects charged with accessory after the fact, Veronica Ferguson and Decarlos Clark.

The two suspects have a few discrepancies in their reports, but for the most part seem to agree that Clark and Ferguson were going to Dollar General on North Hills, and Byrd wanted to tag along. They say when they arrived, Byrd told them he was going to hit a lick, which means to rob or steal from someone. They say he pulled out a black glock painted white and headed out into the parking lot. The two in the car heard a few shots fired, and say Byrd later returned to the car wanting a ride.

One of the detectives on stand says his ankle monitor's GPS puts him in the exact location of the victim's car at 12:34 p.m. They received the call for shots fired at 12:35. In his testimony, one detective says Ferguson says she asked Byrd if he had killed someone, and he responded with, "Duh." Ferguson says they exchanged the car for another one, since they knew police would looking for the one they were in, and Byrd asked if they wanted to go shopping. The suspects say all three used the card at stores around Bonita, and finally threw it away when it was declined at McDonald's.

During interrogation, police say they ran the tag number that a witness relayed and found that it belonged to Clark's mother. So they brought a lineup of photos to the clerk at TJ Maxx, who was able to pick Clark out. They quickly obtained a search warrant for the house and arrested all three. Police are still searching for the victim's wallet and the murder weapon, which they describe as a nine millimeter gun.


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