Car thief linked to shooting

Published 6:40 pm Monday, June 21, 2010

A Jackson teen charged in a Jackson murder and a car theft inBrookhaven has now also been charged in the robbery and shooting ofa Jackson State University researcher.

Jasper Bell, 15, fled Brookhaven in a stolen vehicle lastWednesday, leading officials including two Brookhaven PoliceDepartment officers on a high-speed chase that lasted more than 45miles up Interstate 55.

After he was arrested around 11 p.m. at I-55 and Elton Road inJackson, where the pursuit ended, he was charged with accessoryafter the fact in the slaying of Jim Hill High School studentFalisha Miller, who was shot in the bathroom of a Jackson hotellast Sunday morning.

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Bell has now been charged with armed robbery and aggravated assaultin the February attack of JSU teacher Andrea Scott, officialssaid.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson said his men are stillawaiting their chance to speak with Bell on why he might have beenin Brookhaven.

“Because we haven’t been able to talk to him, we have no idea, andI’m really concerned and curious about why was he in Brookhaven,”Henderson said. “Was he just traveling through or what, I don’thave an answer at this time.”

There are still pieces of that puzzle left to be found, the chiefsaid, though BPD officials are on it. He said Brookhaven’sconvenient location on Interstate 55 could have brought Bellthrough town, or he might have had connections here. Officials areinvestigating several possibilities.

“I’m still checking on things,” he said. “Am I curious as to why hewas here? Am I concerned? Yes, I’m very curious. I don’t know if(Jackson police) have talked to him about that or not, but I’d liketo know if they can tell me the reason.”

Bell will make his initial appearance in court on the charges inthe Scott case this week, police said.