September 16, 2021

High-ranking Simon City Royal sentenced to life in prison in 2020 murder

Therese Apel

Joseph Paul McLeod

A validated member of the Simon City Royals street gang has been sentenced to life without parole in a 2020 murder on the coast.

Joseph Paul McLeod, 34, of Pascagoula, pleaded guilty to the murder of Dustin Suttles, 29, who was found floating in the Pascagoula River almost a full year ago.

McLeod was charged with capital murder, which carries the death penalty, but will face life in prison without parole after the hearing Tuesday before Circuit Court Judge Dale Harkey. There are three other men charged in Suttles’ death as well.

McLeod lured Suttles, who was from Gautier, to Jackson County, prosecutors said, then assaulted and killed him. His body was then dumped from the Roy Cumbest Bridge into the river.

An investigation determined McLeod was a high-ranking member of the Simon City Royals, which have a strong presence on the coast.

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