In-custody death inquiry ongoing

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2021

No new information has been released into the death of a man taken into custody Feb. 25 by Mississippi Highway Patrol Troopers.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is working on what spokesman Major Johnny Poulos called “an ongoing investigation” after a man identified as Jonathan Bowman died while in the custody of MHP Troop M officers.

During the first day of MHP’s DRIVE safety campaign, Troop M Public Affairs Officer Cpl. Craig James said the driver of a white pickup “blew through” the safety checkpoint on Hwy. 84 near Jackson-Liberty Road and subsequently led Troopers in a high speed chase eastward that moved to I-55 northbound. The chase ended when the truck wrecked in Copiah County.

Passersby said a conscious and agitated, naked, bearded white man was placed in handcuffs and into the back of an MHP vehicle just after 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25.

Later that evening, MHP Public Affairs spokesman M. Sgt. Justin C. Elkins issued a written statement reading:

“The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, along with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, is investigating an in-custody death of a male subject that occurred on Friday, February 26, 2021, in Copiah County. MBI and MBN Special Agents are gathering evidence as part of this ongoing investigation and will share their findings with the local District Attorney’s office.”

Poulos said the process of an MBI investigation varies on a case-by-case basis, and no official comment will be released until the investigation is concluded.