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Tillatoba Man Faces Charges

By David Howell

TILLATOBA – A Tillatoba man was arrested last week after allegedly molesting a 15 year-old girl.
    Jonathan Smith was charged with one count of sexual battery and one count of molestation, touching a child under the age of 16, according to sheriff Lance Humphreys.
    Smith was charged last Tuesday, July 16, the same day the incident occurred, the sheriff stated.
    “He voluntarily came to the office and agreed to be interviewed. We charged him at the end of the interview,” Humphreys told the Herald.
    Bond was set at $55,000 in an initial appearance. Smith is currently out of jail after posting bond. He was identified as a friend of the victims’s family.
    In other law enforcement news:
    • Cecil Allen Austin of Water Valley was arrested and charged with careless driving, driving with a suspended driver’s license, failure to stop after an officer signals and DUI-3rd.
    Austin’s charges came Saturday night, July 20, after reportedly zooming through a driver’s license safety checkpoint on Hwy. 7 south of Water Valley.
    Humphreys said Austin was traveling on a motorcycle and deputies estimated his speed at near 80 miles per hour when he squeezed through the road block.
    “He waved at us when he went through,” deputy Thomas West wrote in his incident report. Both West and Constable Brent Anderson had to dodge the speeding motorcycle when it came through.
    Humphreys said Austin was apprehended a short distance later on Hwy. 7.
    “He told deputies he was headed to a party on Hwy. 330. Thankfully we were able to get him off the road before he had an accident and injured himself or somebody else,” Humphreys said.
    • James Cannon Grant of Duck Hill was charged with possession of marijuana on Hwy. 7, also on July 20.
    • Deputies investigated an accident on Hwy. 330 East that resulted in the death of an unborn baby.
    Humphreys said the woman, who was eight-months pregnant, was riding in the back of a truck to help hold furniture she and her boyfriend were moving. The boyfriend was driving.
    “A mattress hit her and knocked her out of the pickup, it was a very tragic accident,” Humphreys told the Herald.
    She was transported in a private vehicle to the ambulance station at the hospital in Water Valley, where she was then transported to the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Oxford where she is recovering after losing the baby.
    Humphreys said a joint investigation with his department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations did not find any evidence of foul play.

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