Keith Coleman Jr., who led police on a weeks-long manhunt that ended last week, was charged today along with two others in the deaths of missing Quitman County couple Will Polk and April Jones.
Police said Coleman believed Polk and Jones had stolen drugs from him, so he plotted, killed and dismembered them. Investigators have yet to find any evidence that any drugs were stolen at all.
K2, as Coleman is known, was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, and two counts of dismemberment of a body. Jayme L Tubbs of Water Valley received the same charges. A third suspect, Dezimond Ray “Cutthroat” Green, was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. In April, Haley Pierce and Dale Gann, both of Quitman County, were also arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
Previous police documents have listed an “Individual 1” who was believed to have been the shot-caller in Polk and Jones’ deaths, and on Tuesday, Chief Deputy Peter Clinton said he can now release that Coleman is “Individual 1.”
“So we’ve got the main characters charged and locked up, so we’re going to continue this investigation to find out if anyone else assisted or coordinated with these individuals,” said Clinton. “If so, we’re going to bring them to justice.”
Clinton said after two years some remains have finally been found, and police have leads as to where the rest of the remains may be.
“We found a head and some hands, and so those have been sent to Jackson. We know as of now where the other body parts are and we just have to get the team together when the weather permits to get those other parts,” said Clinton.
As they were led into the courtroom on Tuesday, Coleman was quiet. He made no decisive moves during his walk from the vehicle, the wait in the courtroom, or the time he spent in front of Justice Court Judge Joe Brown.
Green was much the same, leaning his head back against a wall as he waited for court proceedings to start. When Clinton placed his warrant in front of him and made him sign it, Green pushed it off on to the floor.
Tubbs was defiant and erratic, staring down members of the victims families and the media. She alternated crying and laughing in the courtroom, and at one point family members of the victims said they saw her throwing gang signs across the courtroom to Green and Coleman. While the two men wore orange jumpsuits, Tubbs wore ill-fitting jean shorts and and orange shirt.
“It is so disheartening to know that kind of evil walks among us,” said Polk’s cousin Scarlett Campbell. “They deserve to be punished to the fullest extent.”
Loved ones of Jones and Polk sat on either side of the courtroom, comforting and supporting each other and the memories of Will and April.
“I tried to save her from this Godforsaken town so many times,” said Karen Grisham, Jones’ mother. “I just want justice for my baby.”
All three suspects were denied bond in their initial appearance today. The next court hearing will be held June 24.
“I don’t ever want them out of jail,” Grisham said. “I don’t wish death upon them, because I believe in God and I pray a lot, but I don’t ever want them to see the light of day again.”
Campbell was emotional thinking about finally having the alleged ringleader in custody. She talked about what she would say to her cousin if he were there to hear her.
“I told you Aunt Scarlett was not going to give up on you and I’ll never give up on you until I get you home,” she said.