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Water Valley Man Charged In Shooting Death

Water Valley Police were assisted by Yalobush Sheriff’s Deputies as they searched the yard at 617 Chestnut Sunday night. From left are Sgt. A. J. Hernandez, Deputy Regis Mister, Sgt. Bubba Jackson, Police Chief Mike King, and Deputy Jason Irby. Police and investigators from the Mississippi Crime Lab were at the scene of the shooting until after 5 a.m. Monday morning. – Photo by Jack Gurner

Evidence markers flag the location of shell casings.

Police tape surrounded the crime scene as officers worked until the early hours of Monday morning.

By Jack Gurner

UPDATE – Police have charged Marcus Telford, 25, of Water Valley with murder in the shooting death of Cornelius Obrien “Shawty” Wells. Telford was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and is being held in the Yalobusha County Jail, according to Police Chief Mike King.

WATER VALLEY – Police have spent two days combing for evidence and questioning people in an investigation into a homicide that occurred Sunday night.

Cornelius Obrien “Shawty” Wells, 24, of Batesville was shot to death at 617 Chestnut Street just before 10 p.m., according to Captain Roger Thomas of the Water Valley Police Department.

Yalobusha County Coroner Ronnie Stark pronounced Wells dead at the scene. Stark said an autopsy was performed Tuesday and the cause of death was ruled a gunshot wound to the head.

Officers were initially dispatched to a disturbance call at the address. That radio call was followed by another indicating a female at the residence had locked herself and some children in the bathroom after shots were fired. They weren’t injured.

Officer Chris Blair was first on the scene at 9:57 p.m. followed a few moments later by Sergeant Bubba Jackson. Blair radioed that a man was down and emergency medical responders were needed.

Police Chief Mike King and Investigator Thomas arrived a few minutes later and, along with other officers and sheriff’s deputies, searched the area around the house. They placed yellow evidence markers where shell casings were found in the yard.

Police and investigators from the Mississippi Crime Lab were at the scene of the shooting until after 5 a.m. Monday morning. Captain Thomas said that the WVPD is following several leads.

The homicide is the first in the city this year. Just over 14 months ago, on March 2, 2010, Carey Shantell McCollins was fatally shot at a residence on West Lee Street and Columbus Jimmy Buford was brutally murdered on Dec. 15, 2009, at his home on Calhoun Street. Those crimes remain unsolved.

A $5,000 cash offer for information leading to arrests in any unsolved murder in the county is still in effect. Anyone with information is urged to call Police at 473-2933 or Yalobusha County CrimeStoppers at 1-866-933-TIPS or 473-4935 or send an email to:

Sergeant A. J. Hernandez reported the following additional law enforcement activity in Water Valley since May 1:

• Made six arrests for driving with a suspended license;

• Made three arrests for DUI, first offense, with one including charges of possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and child in need of supervision;

• Made two arrests for public drunk, with one including charges of violation of the City Beer Ordinance, open container;

• Made two arrests for violation of the City Beer Ordinance, open container, with one of those including charges of resisting arrest and the other including charges of willful trespass;

• Made an arrest for Tate County authorities on a warrant for bad checks;

• Made an arrest for the Horn Lake Police Department on a contempt of court warrant;

• Made an arrest for possession of drug paraphernalia;

• Made an arrest for possession of a controlled substance;

• Took five reports of vehicle accidents;

• Took two reports of telephone harassment;

• Took two reports of attempting to commit an offense;

• Took two reports of simple assault;

• Took a report of domestic violence and aggravated assault;

• Took a report of malicious mischief;

• Took a report of a missing person;

• Took a report of burglary;

• Took a report of stalking;

• Took a report of animal poisoning;

• Took a report of petty larceny;

• Took a report of theft of prescription drugs;

• Took a report of forgery;

• Took a report of petty larceny of gasoline;

• Issued 38 traffic citations.

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