Officer charged in murder fired by McComb police

August 24, 2013 6:06:39 PM



BROOKHAVEN -- McComb Police Chief Greg Martin says a Brookhaven police officer, who was arrested in connection with a slaying in Pike County on Monday, had been previously fired by his department prior to his hiring in Brookhaven. 


Police Chief Bobby Bell tells The Daily Leader the arrest of the now former officer Jasper Cortez Pittman came as a shock to him. Pittman was arrested by Pike County authorities in the death of 53-year-old Kenneth Thompson. 


Officials say Pittman was charged with accessory after the fact to murder. Other charges against him include arson, conspiracy to commit arson and sexual battery. 


Thompson's body was found in a shallow grave on Pittman's property. An affidavit filed by Pike County Sheriff's Department investigators reveals that Pittman had a sexual relationship with Thompson's 14-year-old son. 


The boy and two others -- 17-year-old LeJerrious A. Perkins and 26-year-old Greg Antonio Fortenberry -- are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, arson and conspiracy to commit arson. 


Tuesday night, Chief Bell and the Brookhaven board of aldermen terminated Pittman from the Brookhaven police department. He had been on the job in Brookhaven for only 15 days. 


Pittman had previously served nearly a year as a McComb police officer but was terminated following a disciplinary hearing concerning the reckless pursuit of a suspect. 


Thompson's body was found late Sunday or early Monday near the officer's home near McComb, a town of about 12,700 people in south Mississippi. 


Thompson had been stabbed in the neck, according to affidavits filed in Pike County Justice Court. 


The arson charges are related to the suspects burning Thompson's truck to destroy evidence, according to the affidavits. The truck was found in the woods near a home of one of Pittman's relatives, the affidavits said. 


District Attorney Dee Bates has said both teens are charged as adults, which is customary under Mississippi law for juveniles charged with crimes that carry the possibility of a life sentence.