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Law Enforcement Report

Law enforcement officials and medical personnel responded to the shooting death of Hugh E. Nicholson, Jr. on Wagner Street Sunday morning.

Yolonda Hawkins (left) is escorted by Water Valley Police Officer Tony Hernandez for an initial appearance in Municipal Court Tuesday afternoon. – Photo by Jack Gurner

Woman Charged In Murder

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – A confrontation Sunday morning between Hugh E. Nicholson Jr. and Yolanda Hawkins resulted in the death of Nicholson and murder charges being filled against Hawkins.

Police and emergency medical personal responded to a 911 call at 207 Wagner St. around 7 a.m. Sunday and found Nicholson in the yard of 209 Wagner with multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. He had been shot at 207 Wagner and made it to 209 before collapsing, according to eye witnesses.

Nicholson, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:55 a.m., according to Deputy Coroner Debbie Jackson. The time of death was put at 7:05. The body has been sent to Jackson for autopsy, which is standard procedure in a homicide investigation.

Nicholson was in the news just a week earlier when a family home he owned on East Lee Street burned. That case is still under investigation, according to police and fire officials.

Chief Mike King said Monday morning that his department was working with the District Attorney’s office and that the circumstances of the shooting were still under investigation. Police later announced that Hawkins, 24, had been arrested around 3:30 Monday afternoon and charged with murder.

Hawkins made an initial appearance before City Judge Trent Howell Tuesday at 1 p.m. at which time he appointed City Public Defender Tom Levidiotis to represent her.  He then explained her rights and read the details of the murder charge.

Police officials asked that no bail be set. The judge agreed and denied bail, pending a preliminary hearing. When Howell was told the next court date is Dec. 11, he asked that the hearing be set sooner to speed up the process.

Hawkins was remanded to the custody of the police department and returned to the Yalobusha County jail.

At the preliminary hearing Hawkins’ case will be bound over to a grand jury where an indictment could be handed down for murder or a lessor charge.

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 two arrests for shoplifting first offense;

• Made two arrests for DUI first offense;

• Made an arrest for the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department;

• Took a report of stalking;

• Took a report of domestic assault;

• Took a report of simple assault;

• Took a report of shoplifting;

• Issued 25 traffic citations;

• Investigated two crashes.

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