STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Victim's family speaks on Palmetto murder suspect who was free after prior murder charge

A victim's family is mourning the death of their 66-year-old grandmother.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 11:00 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2018 9:17 AM

LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) - A victim's family is mourning the death of their 66-year-old grandmother.

Meanwhile, the Lee County sheriff reveals documents on why the suspected shooter, who was already charged in a prior murder, was out free to begin with.

Latavious Betts | Photo: Lee County Sheriff's Department

“I was looking out the window, I thought it was my homeboy, but it wasn’t. It was Latavious Betts," said Alvin Walton, who was injured in the Palmetto drive-by shooting last Friday.

Walton was at his grandmother's house on County Road 45 when those fatal shots rang out. He was shot in the leg, and his hip was shattered.

According to Sheriff Jim Johnson, suspected shooter Betts should not have been out of jail in the first place.

Betts was charged in April for murder, then never went before a judge for an initial appearance, according to authorities. A $50,000 bond was set, which was not approved by a judge. He bonded out.

A few months later in July, Johnson details that Betts was charged in another shooting in Verona. The judge, in that case, set a bond at $50,000 for an aggravated assault charge.

“The previous charge of murder and him being out on bond should have been brought to the attention of the court," said Johnson. "The judge at that time and the district attorney’s office could have been involved in petitioning the court to hold this individual without bond until court.”

Johnson said Tuesday that several documents were not signed either by himself or a judge involving Bett's April murder case. Meanwhile, the victim's family says the shooting had to do with money.

“I’m hearing that he said he owes some guys, and after that, I’m hearing that my mom gave him the money to pay these guys and he didn’t give it to them," said Ricky Jones, the victim's son. "They called and asked where he at. He said at his momma’s house.”

Other family members say they want justice in their grandmother's slaying that could have been avoided.

“Obviously, Verona couldn’t have been doing their job because if they were doing their job and did the proper paperwork, he (Betts) wouldn't have been going and this would have never happened.”

Verona Police Chief J.B. Long did not immediately respond to multiple phone calls from WTVA on Tuesday about Betts.

A candlelight vigil, family says, is scheduled for victim Annie Walton this Sunday.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348496

Reported Deaths: 7556
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24427446
DeSoto23439283
Harrison21066330
Rankin15704292
Jackson15597252
Madison11114227
Lee10855179
Jones9181169
Forrest8960160
Lauderdale8008244
Lamar719489
Lowndes7167151
Lafayette6604125
Washington5629140
Pearl River5336153
Oktibbeha500998
Bolivar4989134
Warren4803128
Panola4801112
Marshall4725106
Pontotoc451473
Hancock438088
Union437179
Monroe4361137
Neshoba4351181
Lincoln4212116
Pike3711113
Leflore3668125
Tate354688
Alcorn353974
Sunflower350794
Adams345388
Scott344676
Yazoo342476
Copiah329868
Simpson325191
Itawamba316780
Coahoma314985
Tippah312568
Prentiss301863
Covington300184
Marion288681
Leake287875
Wayne280043
George276751
Grenada271388
Newton265964
Tishomingo240370
Winston237884
Stone234138
Jasper233148
Attala228173
Chickasaw220860
Holmes202274
Clay201154
Clarke188180
Tallahatchie185442
Calhoun183032
Smith182635
Yalobusha173141
Walthall149049
Lawrence145226
Greene141835
Amite138643
Noxubee136735
Perry135638
Montgomery133744
Carroll126831
Webster122632
Jefferson Davis118734
Tunica115827
Benton107225
Claiborne105731
Kemper103529
Humphreys101733
Franklin88324
Quitman85619
Choctaw82819
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson71928
Sharkey51818
Issaquena1736
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 589110

Reported Deaths: 11536
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson856031591
Mobile49268864
Madison37603533
Shelby27362257
Tuscaloosa27208465
Montgomery26252627
Baldwin25567329
Lee17260181
Calhoun15429334
Morgan15199291
Etowah14981370
Marshall13136235
Houston12112293
Elmore10946219
St. Clair10793252
Limestone10750158
Cullman10566205
Lauderdale10266254
DeKalb9517192
Talladega8972188
Walker7817288
Autauga7585114
Jackson7406117
Blount7382139
Colbert6721142
Coffee6382132
Dale5673117
Russell481343
Chilton4785117
Covington4763125
Franklin459081
Tallapoosa4525156
Escambia443883
Chambers3968125
Dallas3749163
Clarke371663
Marion3465107
Pike333079
Lawrence3267100
Winston299373
Bibb290965
Geneva285983
Marengo262767
Barbour252061
Pickens245762
Butler241472
Hale235978
Fayette227265
Henry214845
Monroe203041
Randolph201944
Cherokee199548
Washington185239
Macon170752
Crenshaw169458
Clay166559
Cleburne161545
Lamar151238
Lowndes145855
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa118429
Perry110828
Sumter110433
Greene99137
Choctaw64425
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 71°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 68°
Starkville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Tuesday will be filled with plenty of sunshine and temperatures will still remain below the normal high temperature for this time of year. Most of the high temperatures on Tuesday will range anywhere from the middle 80s to lower 90s across our area.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather