Number of murders rises over last 4 years

Published 9:01 pm Saturday, July 25, 2015

With yet another fatal shooting Thursday night, Lincoln County has recorded the seventh murder this year.

Over the past four years, Lincoln County, including Brookhaven, has seen a steady increase in homicides, but this year’s number— just seven months in — has almost doubled 2014’s number.

In 2010, three murders were reported in the FBI’s crime statistics. The next two years would be relatively quiet as no murders were reported in 2011 and just one in 2012. The Daily Leader reported three murders for 2013 and four murders in 2014.

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This year’s murders, most of which have been the result of shootings, have spurred multiple prayer calls and a recent anti-violence rally with marchers chanting “Stop the violence” and “Enough is enough, not another one.”

“We’ve lost our values,” Police Chief Bobby Bell said about the rise in murders.

He said, for him, it all comes down to two things: the way children are disciplined and drug problems.

“We need to get together as a people and work on changing things,” Bell said. “We need to work on getting our community back in hand.”

Bell also called on the community to be more proactive about crime.

“When we see confusion we need to call the police and stop looking at it,” Bell said. “We need to act and stop reacting.”

Kimberly Brown Jones, of Monticello, died in January due to strangulation. Her body was found at 933 Crooked Lane, but police do not believe she was killed there. James Haines, of 28 Curtis Brown Lane, Monticello, was arrested for the crime. Haines was Jones’s boyfriend and was allegedly the last person to be seen with her.

Jermaine Sims Sr., 31, and his daughter, Jamiyah, 9, died on March 13 after a shooter opened fire on the family at their home at 1088 S. First Street. Sims’ wife, Victoria, and two other children were hospitalized. The couple also had a fourth child that was unharmed in the incident.

Police arrested Jimmy Lyons in connection with the case upon arriving at the scene. Lyons was living in the home with the Simses at the time. Lyons later died in jail. Police believe the shooting stemmed from an argument the day before.

Timothy Green, 31, was shot on Spur Lane. Fred Hill III, 24, of 1515 Spur Lane was arrested that same day. The Sheriff’s Department said the shooting appeared to have stemmed from a dispute between the two men.

Kelcay Humphrey, 25, died July 5 after being shot at Cloverdale apartments No. 73. Police estimated that he was shot between eight and 12 times. Claudis D. Montgomery, of 4208 Highway 550, was arrested July 7 for his alleged involvement in the crime.

Bridget London Hall died July 6 at her home on Vivian Merritt Street. No arrests have been made in that case. Although Hall was in a relationship with Montgomery’s brother, Claude Montgomery, the police have neither confirmed nor denied they are related. Police are keeping all options open.

Most recently, Glen Mack died after being shot Thursday night in the Cloverdale area. Pierree Thomas was arrested Friday afternoon for the crime.