Charge Filed in Kemper County Kidnapping

Jackson, Miss.

A suspect in the kidnapping of 6-year-old Jashayla Hopson, Jesse Mae Brown Pollard, 54, was denied bond in federal court in Jackson Thursday.

Pollard is a former coach and teacher in Kemper County. She's also the mother of standout basketball player Devonta Pollard, a Kemper County High graduate who now plays at the University of Alabama.

WTOK's statewide network partner, WLBT, covered Pollard's hearing. According to testimony, surveillance video shows Pollard buying a cell phone in Bessemer, Ala, which she activated minutes later. Then, Jashayla Hopson's mother received a text message from that phone saying, “Don’t call police. I will call you later. If you call, you won’t see her again.”

Federal investigators also revealed in court that
surveillance video shows Pollard checking in at a Best Western in Bessemer with Jashayla. Other evidence presented Thursday included Jashayla saying the woman who took her was referred to as "Jesse Mae" and the child described the car she was in and it was found in front of Pollard’s home in Northport, Ala. Inside the vehicle investigators say they found a receipt from Wal-Mart and the room key from the Bessemer Best Western.

In court, officials testified there is an ongoing dispute of some kind between Pollard and Rochelle Ford, Jashayla's mother.

Kemper County Sheriff James Moore told Newscenter 11 that 2-3 others may also be charged in connection with the kidnapping.

Moore says the woman who took Jashayla Tuesday afternoon is still being sought. She is described as a black female with a star tattoo on one foot and a butterfly tattoo on the other leg. She was at the time wearing a black and white dress, and possibly driving a gray 4-door mid-sized sedan.

Anyone with information about this or any suspect may call the Kemper County Sheriff's Department at 601-743-2255.


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