Local policeman charged in McComb case

Published 7:00pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Brookhaven police officer and three other individuals, including a juvenile, have been charged in connection with the death of a McComb man on Monday.

Kenneth Thompson, 53 of McComb, was found dead in a shallow grave in McComb on Monday after he had been reported missing to the McComb Police Department by relatives, District Attorney Dee Bates said today in an interview.

Brookhaven police officer Jasper Cortez Pittman, 25, of 1025 Josephine Drive, McComb, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder as an accessory after the fact, sexual battery, arson and conspiracy to commit arson.

Bates said three others were arrested in connection with the crime. Thompson’s son, Blake Thompson, 14, of McComb, was charged with murder, arson and conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson. Greg Antonio Fortenberry, 26, of 1235 Witterman St., McComb, was charged with murder, arson and conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson. LeJarrius Perkins, 17, of 618 South Fourth St., McComb, was charged with murder, arson and conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit arson.

The investigation is now being headed up by Warren Strain and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation because the case involves a police officer.

Strain confirmed the charges against the adult suspects and said today that the details of the case are still under investigation.

Bates said that an affidavit submitted by investigators with the Pike County Sheriff’s Department states that Pittman was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old Thompson.

Brookhaven Chief of Police Bobby Bell and the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen met in an executive session at Tuesday night’s board meeting. The board later voted unanimously in open session Tuesday night to terminate Pittman from the police department.

Pittman had been on the force for only 15 days, said the chief. Pittman was also a former McComb police officer before becoming employed at the Brookhaven department. Bell said Tuesday night Pittman had been recommended to him by members of the McComb police force.

Bates said that Pittman was being held in the Amite County jail while the others remain in Pike County jail. He added that a condition of Pittman’s bond is that he turn over all of his Brookhaven police equipment.

Bates said bail for each suspect has been set at $400,000. He confirmed that none have posted bail and all remained in jail at press time.