Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Authorities say four men have been charged in the death of a senior marketing major at Mississippi State University in Starkville Sunday.
Joseph Tillman, from the Delta town of Schlater, was found dead early Sunday. Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt told WTVA's Craig Ford that the body was in the yard of some apartments on Maxwell Street when an ambulance was called around 2:30 a.m.
Jaylen M. Barker, 20, has been charged with murder with a bond of $1,000,000. Jamario Pippins, 22; Tyler Harris, 16; and 19-year-old Brandon Sherrod were charged with murder as an accessory, each with a bond of $500,000. All four suspects are from the area, police said in a release Sunday. All were transported to the Oktibbeha County Jail and have initial Municipal Court appearances set for 6 p.m. Monday.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation crime scene unit was called to process the scene. The US Marshals Task Force, the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi State Police Department are also assisting.
The Reflector's Emmalyne Kwasny reports that MSU students and staff are being offered counseling through MSU's Student Counseling Center.
The Reflector reports that the MSU Student Association released a brief statement as well. “The student body is grieving over the loss of one of our own students, senior marketing major Joseph Tillman,” it read.
"The Starkville Police Department would like to extend our prayers and condolences to the Tillman family and the Mississippi State students who were affected by this loss. The Starkville Police Department will not tolerate violence of this nature in our community and will ensure that justice is served," the department said in Sunday's release.
Hunt has not yet returned calls and messages from The Clarion-Ledger seeking comment.