Law Enforcement Report
By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – A former resident of the area wanted in connection with the stabbing death of an Ohio man has been captured in Nebraska.
John Matthew Hughes of Oxford was arrested after a traffic stop near the York, Nebraska Interstate – 80/U.S. Highway 81 Interchange shortly before 3 a.m., Tuesday, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.
A trooper with Troop C Headquarters – Grand Island, stopped a white 2003 Chevy Blazer with Mississippi plates for making an improper turn, causing the vehicle to travel northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 81.
The vehicle is registered to Dana Kay Tutor, 32, of Pontotoc, who was in the vehicle, said Deb Collins, Nebraska State Patrol spokesperson.
The driver of the vehicle failed to provide any identification or driver’s license information and gave the trooper an alias.
The driver was then arrested for driving under the influence and transported to the York County Jail. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up the driver’s proper identification, Nebraska officials said.
A check of the ID determined the driver of the vehicle, 32-year-old Hughes, was wanted on a warrant for the homicide in Ohio.
Hughes is currently being held in the York County Jail on the outstanding warrant and will be extradited to Ohio to face charges.
Three other adults, one male, and two females in the vehicle at the time of the traffic stop will not face any formal charges. The male who was in the vehicle with Hughes is from Oxford.
Hughes has a list of past offenses in Lafayette and Yalobusha counties, according to Water Valley Police Captain Roger Thomas. He pleaded guilty to three counts of grand larceny in 2004, according to Thomas
A detective in Zanesville reported that Hughes made statements that he would not go peacefully.
“Every time we tried to arrest him, it was a fight or chase,” Sheriff Lance Humphreys recalled when his department was after Hughes following a car theft.
The Daily Mississippian reported that Hughes received a five-year sentence after pleading guilty to grand larceny. That sentence was reduced to time served and probation. He violated the probation in Panola County for public drunkenness and possession of paraphernalia and was taken back into custody in October, 2005, according to the newspaper article. Why he was released early again could not be confirmed.
Lt. Rick McCuan reported the following additional law enforcement activity within the Water Valley City limits during the past week:
• Made four arrests for driving under suspension;
• Made four arrests for public drunk;
• Made an arrest for possession of marijuana;
• Made an arrest for possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle;
• Made an arrest for theft of communication, stealing cable service;
• Made an arrest for no drivers license;
• Made an arrest for DUI, first offense;
• Took a report of petty larceny;
• Took a report of simple assault;
• Took a report of leaving the scene of an accident;
• Took a report of malicious mischief;
• Issued a citation for violation of the open container ordinance;
• Issued a citation for violation of the city noise ordinance, loud music in a motor vehicle;
• Issued 14 traffic citations.
The Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating two unrelated potential rape cases, according to Sheriff Lance Humphreys. The first case involves an incident between a suspect and his sister on August 28, the sheriff said. Humphreys did not release details, citing an ongoing investigation.
Charges are also pending in a possible statutory rape that occurred last week in the county. “This case involves a runaway,” Humphreys reported.
Other county law enforcement activity includes:
• Deputies worked a traffic accident on County Road 87 involving a Coffeeville School District bus on August 26. Humphreys said the accident was minor and the bus driver backed into someone.
• Officers made an arrest for simple assault in the Hickory Ridge swimming area on August 27.
• Deputies are investigating the theft of an American Bulldog on September 2. The dog was taken from County Road 55.
• Deputies worked a bizarre larceny case on I-55. Humphreys said a motorist had parked a sailboat on the median when the boat trailer had a flat tire. When the man returned with a tire, the boat had been moved and was parked in front of Ashmore’s Wrecker business at the Tillatoba exit. A check with Ashmore and other wrecker services revealed the boat had not been towed.
• Deputies responded to a report of an animal problem on County Road 53.
• Officers made an arrest for DUI on September 6.