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Verona chief responds to why wanted murder suspect was out on bond for previous deadly shooting

Family members are seeking justice after their elderly aunt was taken from them in a deadly drive-by. Concern has been raised as to why the still wanted suspect, was out on bond for a previous murder charge.

Posted: Wed Dec 12 20:45:43 PST 2018
Updated: Wed Dec 12 20:45:44 PST 2018

Speech to Text for Verona chief responds to why wanted murder suspect was out on bond for previous deadly shooting

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an update to a story we've been following out of lee county... family members are seeking justice after their elderly aunt was taken from them in a deadly drive-by... but concern has been raised as to why the still wanted suspect...already wanted on a different murder chargr was outin the first place... wtva's rebecca butcher spoke with authorities plus relatives and joins us live... rebecca? the suspect in this case is still wanted...but why he was let out on bond before this shooting remains unclear. relatives i spoke with say the act was "senseless." bishop dr.c.l. parks/nephew of victim "this person was minding their own business in their own home when this happened. for someone to just come by and start shooting in someone's home and not even know who's in the house." bishop parks tells me his aunt annie walton was a cook for a number of years. she was using a breathing machine at the time her home was riddled with bullets. barbara wise, niece of victim "she raised me so many years of my life. i stayed with her and my uncle. they raised me, they made sure i went to school. they made sure i had proper clothing." mughsot ..but the woman who was so intrumental in barbara wise's life is now gone... ...authorities say because of this teen---17-year-old latavious betts, who's still running from the law. betts was originally charged with first degree murder back in a verona shooting in april. lee county sheriff jim johnson says he never faced a judge in an initial appearance. ..and that signatures were never signed by for the suspect's waiver of initial appearance..appearance bond, or recognizance appearance bond. i asked verona police chief j.b. long today why... chief j.b. long, verona police dept. "the reason there was no signature was because it was stated at the time he was not the individual." the chief goes on to say that the suspect's father backed up because it was stated at the time he was not the individual." the chief goes on to say that the suspect's father backed up his alibi...placing him elsewhere at the time of the shooting. "i spoke with betts' father by phone. he did state that latavious was home with him. at that point andtime i did not have the sufficient information that i needed to keep him. mr. betts was released." long says that two female witnesses named another man as the verona shooter. ...but as to why a judge was not aware of bett's history when he was brought before her in an aggravated assault case...long cannot answer. long: "i cannot say why she was not notified. on that particular day, the only thing discussed at that time was the actual shooting that took place. it was not the actual previous charge." when i asked betts' family about what sheriff jim johnson calls a lapse in paperwork...they rsaid they hope the deapartment can do a better job in these cases. a candleight vigil is planned for the victim on sunday at her home. we're live tonightin tupelo, rebecca butcher wtva nine news. at , matt's here with a first look at
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