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Police release more details in local murder case

DAILY LEADER FILE PHOTO / Crime scene tape marks the location where a McComb man's burned body was found Oct. 30.

DAILY LEADER FILE PHOTO / Crime scene tape marks the location where a McComb man’s burned body was found Oct. 30.

A McComb man, found dead on a stretch of road in Brookhaven Oct. 30, was apparently killed by gunshots, Lincoln County Deputy Coroner John Riggs said Wednesday afternoon.

Cornelius D. Porter, 28, was shot at least twice and then transported to a secluded area on South Washington Street. where Brookhaven police found his body.

“The body had at least two bullet wounds. One was in the head and one was in the chest,” Riggs said.

“It’s possible that there were other gunshot wounds that we were unable to uncover,” Riggs said.

According to Brookhaven Police Chief Bobby Bell, Porter was shot at a location not far from where the body was uncovered.

“We believe the two suspects shot Porter in a residence on Short Street,” Bell said, adding that he believes that “afterwards, the men drove the body to where it was eventually found on South Washington.”

Bell said a short argument between Porter, and at least one of the suspects, may have led to the shooting.

In an alleged effort to destroy any evidence, the perpetrators are believed to have attempted to burn the body, police said. While the body wasn’t consumed by fire, it did make identification more difficult, said Bell.

Burns to the body were postmortem,” Riggs confirmed.

Investigators were able to retrieve one of the bullets from the body, but further details were unavailable.

Law enforcement officials have charged a number of individuals in connection with Porter’s death.

Jerry Doss, of 3102 Eden St., Pascagoula, and Karal Sham Lyons, 28, of 401 Crooked Lane, were charged with murder, and Shanta Dunnigan, 37, of 334 East Minnesota St., was charged with accessory to murder after the fact by the Brookhaven Police Department.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Doss in Ridgecrest, La., on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at which time Tabitha Harris, 27, Johnnie Butts, 21, and Jacqueline Spead, 55, were charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Bell believes all suspects involved in the case have been apprehended and are in custody.

“We are confident that we have followed all leads in the case, and have all suspects accounted for, Bell said.

Harris, Butts and Spead were also charged with multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, obstruction of justice and child endangerment by Parish deputies.

Originally extradited to Lincoln County and held at the Lincoln County Jail on a murder warrant issued by the Brookhaven Police Department, Doss was moved to the Pike County Jail Tuesday to avoid contact with the other suspect in the murder, Lyons. Lyons is currently being held in the Lincoln County jail without bail.

“We wanted to separate them,” Bell said.

In September, the Brookhaven Police Department had previously arrested Doss in Brookhaven on a gambling charge. The arrest stemmed from an undercover narcotics raid executed in cooperation with the Southwest Mississippi Narcotics that uncovered semi-automatic firearms, crack and powder cocaine and marijuana.