A 21-year-old woman is charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting death of a 76-year-old man.
The victim, who suffered what Tallahatchie County Sheriff Jimmy Fly said appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the head, was identified as Silas Hoskin Jr., a local farm worker, of 9 True Vine Road, Tutwiler.
Accused of pulling the trigger is Shanise Monise Gardner, of 194 Williams Dr., Tutwiler, Fly noted. She is being held without bond at the Yalobusha County Jail in Water Valley. The sheriff explained that some of Hoskin’s family members work at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, where local prisoners normally are housed.
Despite their mailing addresses indicating Tutwiler, the sheriff said both Hoskin and Gardner were residents of the Brazil community.
“It’s believed that they knew each other,” Fly stated.
A local farmer reported the discovery of Hoskin’s body in a turnrow of a field just off Clark Road near Sumner, the sheriff explained.
The call came in at 1:45 p.m. Friday, June 3, he added.
“The call originally came in as a possible suicide,” said Fly, adding that officials at the scene later determined the death “looked more like a homicide.”
Tallahatchie County Coroner Ginger Meriwether, who pronounced Hoskin dead at 3:30 p.m. Friday, confirmed that the manner of death “is consistent with homicide.” She added that an autopsy at the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory in Pearl will reveal the precise manner and cause of death.
Meriwether said that after the autopsy, Hoskin’s body would be released to Community Funeral Home in Charleston.
Fly said Hoskin appears to have driven down the turnrow and turned around before he parked facing the road. His body was found lying at the rear of his vehicle, a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis.
“His wallet had been taken out of his pocket and was laying near the body,” the sheriff added. “It appeared he had been robbed.”
During their investigation, Fly said lawmen “were able to establish a timeline of when [Hoskin] left his house and where he was going.”
The sheriff said interviews were conducted with witnesses who reported seeing Hoskin and Gardner together.
“We were able to get some video of Mr. Hoskin’s car going toward the direction of Clark Road and Ms. Gardner’s car right behind him,” Fly noted.
Two sets of tire tracks were found at the scene off Clark Road, and the sheriff said the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Scene Unit took photos and made cast molds of both sets of tire impressions for analysis. Gardner’s 2013 Nissan Altima is being processed at the Crime Lab in Batesville, Fly said.
The sheriff noted that officials started searching for Gardner Friday night. She turned herself in about 1 p.m. Saturday and was booked at 6:23 p.m., he added.
“We have not recovered a weapon,” Fly said. “We looked Sunday for one where she may have thrown it out the window. As of now, the case is still under investigation.”
The sheriff said his “thoughts and prayers” are with Hoskin’s family.
“They’ve been through a lot lately,” he added.
Fly said it was Hoskin’s stepson, Anthony Jones of Jonesboro, Arkansas, who was killed on the morning of May 14 in a one-car crash on Highway 321 near Brazil.