Kemper County, Miss. It has been a long and bizarre few months for Kemper County Sheriff James Moore and his investigators. It all started with the kidnapping of a 6-year old child from a local elementary school and it ended this past week in a Jackson courtroom.
Sheriff Moore and Kemper County authorities were called to East Kemper Elementary School on April 30th after Moore says Jesse Mae Pollard conspired with several other people to kidnap the 6-year old girl. After countless hours of searching, the child was recovered safely a day later in southern Lauderdale County. Turns out the kidnapping was all over a land dispute between the girl's parents and Pollard. It's a case that Moore will never forget.
"Absolutely," Moore says. "I think we would probably never deal with another case anywhere similar to this again."
This past week, a federal jury convicted Pollard on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping and obstruction. She faces up to 20 years in jail. Five other people have pleaded guilty in the case and will be sentenced at a later time. Pollard's son, Devonta, testified against her in court and therefore, won't be charged if he stays out of trouble for the next two years.
"Well, Devonta is a good kid," Moore stresses. "He was under a lot of pressure from his mother. But he had to make a decision to either save himself or go down with his mother. So, he made the right decision to do what he needed to do and the right thing to do."
The sheriff says the verdict against Jesse Mae Pollard was the news that the kidnapping victim's family had been hoping for. Moore says the kidnapping was simply wrong.
"And you come take her from school, take her across state lines, and all this," Sheriff Moore recalls. "So, I think the mother and father, and all the family. And I think some members of Jesse's family understands the fact that this was just wrong and there was no right to it at all."
Sheriff Moore says Devonta Pollard is on probation for the next two years. Moore says Jesse Mae Pollard will be sentenced in February. The other five suspects will be sentenced in January.