Seven charged in fatal ‘ambush’

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mississippi Highway Patrol officials said Monday seven suspectshave been arrested in a late-night shooting incident that tookplace over the weekend in Lawrence County. Three suspects have beencharged with murder.

MHP Public Affairs Officer Rusty Boyd said Jason Davis, 34; JoelDavis, 36; Kabaska Polk, 31; Bryan Cauthen, 23; Derrick Jackson,20; April Garner, 19; and Leon Hayes, age unavailable; werearrested in connection with a shooting that left one man dead andat least three others injured.

Hayes, Jason Davis, and Cauthen are all being held without bondand charged with murder and three counts of aggravated assaulteach. The other four have been charged with accessory to the crimeafter the fact, and are being held on $250,000 each.

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Boyd said Richard Bernard Barnes, 25, was killed around 12:30a.m. Saturday when he and a group of friends went to fight withanother group and found themselves facing high-powered weapons.

“The victims supposedly thought they were going to meet theothers to fist fight, and they ended up coming into an ambush,”Boyd said. “The other group had AK-47s.”

Ricardo Barnes, 19, was one of three others transported from thescene to Lawrence County Hospital with gunshot wounds. He was laterairlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

The other two transported by ambulance, Christopher Lewis, 20,and Murphy Peyton, 19, were treated and released.

Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department officials said the incidentoccurred in the road near a place on Rose Hill Road where peopleoften meet to socialize on the weekends. Boyd said he is unaware ofany link between the two groups besides the fact that they weremeeting to fight.

“All they know basically was, for some reason, that the fourwere going to fight the rest of them,” Boyd said. “They thought itwas going to be a fist fight, and I guess they messed up and didn’tbring weapons.”