September 30, 2020 10:14:08 AM
The trial of a man accused in the 2018 murder of a Starkville resident is scheduled to begin today in Lowndes County.
Joshua Murry, 29, was indicted in January 2019 on charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy after authorities said he murdered Jarrell Ward, 24, on July 26, 2018, according to court records.
Ward's family had reported him missing in Columbus a few days before investigators discovered his body on Aug. 1 in a wooded area near Sand Road, west of Highway 12. At the time, investigators did not release further information about the cause of Ward's death.
Murry was arrested for murder the day investigators found Ward's body. He was indicted for conspiracy because days later, on Aug. 6, 2018, he allegedly tried to escape Lowndes County Adult Detention Center with the help of his girlfriend, Shanice Nottage, who planned to impersonate a Mississippi Department of Corrections officer, according to previous reporting by The Dispatch. The two were still in the planning stages of the conspiracy when investigators learned of it.
Nottage was also charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and her trial is pending.
A jury in Murry's case was chosen Tuesday, and attorneys are scheduled to begin opening arguments this morning. If convicted of first degree murder, Murry could be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
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