Woman faces 3 kidnapping charges

By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times

A young Mathiston woman under indictment for armed robbery was
arrested last week after authorities say she held a family at
gunpoint and led officers on a high-speed chase.

The woman charged with the most recent crimes, according to
authorities and court records, is Kanisha K. Mays, 22 of 95 N.
Natchez Trace Road. A Webster County grand jury indicted her Dec. 11
for armed robbery.

The indictment alleges she robbed Joyce Hendrix at Pear Tree Corner
in Eupora on Oct. 16 while armed with a knife. Police said at the
time that Hendrix, who was not harmed, was robbed of about $2,600.

Mays, who was pregnant at the time of the robbery, was arrested Oct.
18 and released on bond. She posted a Circuit Court bond of $25,000
on Dec. 18 and was arraigned before Circuit Judge Clarence Morgan on
Jan. 8, when she pleaded not guilty and announced she had retained
attorney Brace Knox of Starkville as counsel.

This account of the most recent crimes for which Mays is charged is
based upon interviews with Webster County Sheriff Tim Mitchell and
Eupora Police Chief Gregg Hunter, along with allegations in charging
affidavits filed by Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Mann in Webster County
Justice Court:

The law enforcement officials allege that Mays went to Hendrix’s
residence at 4975 MS Hwy. 9 north of Eupora the morning of April 3.
Hendrix’s husband, Gene Hendrix, was outside and Mays, while holding
him at gunpoint and with a large butcher knife, is accused of forcing
him into his house and onto the couch with the threat of death if he
moved from that location. She is also accused of holding the
Hendrixes’ grandson, Derek Klipstein, and Joyce Hendrix in the house
while brandishing the weapons.

Authorities allege that Mays forced Joyce Hendrix to call the Eupora
Police Department to attempt to drop the armed robbery charge pending
against Mays in Circuit Court. The police department did receive a
call at 9:54 a.m. from Hendrix.

EPD Dispatcher Milinda Norwood and Hunter determined that Hendrix was
under duress, and Norwood got a 911 dispatcher on the line. No
deputies were in the area at the time and the sheriff’s office gave
Hunter permission to go out of the city limits to the scene and offer
assistance, which he did.

In the meantime, according one of the affidavits, Mays forced Hendrix
out of her house and in the direction of Mays’ Mercury Mountaineer,
which was located at an adjacent property.

When Hunter arrived, he saw Hendrix outside her residence being held
against her will at gunpoint. The woman holding her — later
identified as Mays — was wearing a black hood and had her face
covered, and was trying to put Hendrix in the SUV.

When Hunter pulled up, Hendrix was able to break away when Mays
turned to look at him. Mays jumped into her vehicle and fled south on
Highway 9. Hunter and Eupora Officer Donald Card, who had since
arrived, began pursuing her.

Webster 911 also dispatched all other available officers to provide
assistance.
Hunter and Card, who was able to get in front of Mays at one point,
pursued her as she fled along Old Walthall Road, Snow Bottom Road,
North Sapa Road then onto U.S. 82 and back north on Ticky Bend Road —
in excess of 80 mph at times.

Officers Shane Box and Stanley Sisk of the Mathiston Police
Department had positioned both of their patrol cars at Ticky Bend
Road and East Old Hwy. 82, blocking the intersection. Hunter and two
Sheriff’s Department units got behind Mays and initiated a felony
stop there.

Mays surrendered without incident and, after Hunter identified her,
officers took her into custody. They secured the weapons used in the
commission of that morning’s crime and her vehicle was impounded at
the sheriff’s office lot. The handgun that was recovered was a 7.65mm
Armi Galesi-Brescia Brevetto.

Mays was charged with intimidating a witness and three counts of
kidnapping.

She had an initial appearance Friday before Justice Court Judge Jerry
Jones, who ordered her held without bond at the county jail. She was
also arrested twice last July by the Mississippi Department of
Corrections: once for a probation violation and again on two warrants
for failure to pay.

Mitchell thanked Hunter and the Eupora Police Department; Box, Sisk
and Chief Roger Miller of the Mathiston PD; and Mississippi Highway
Patrol units for their assistance and good response.

Calling Hunter a hero, Mitchell said, “When Gregg responded as
quickly as he did, he probably saved her (Hendrix’s) life.”

Mitchell and Hunter both expressed thanks that no one was hurt during
the ordeal at the Hendrixes and during the chase.

“I appreciate Tim’s cooperation and I’m glad no one was hurt,” said
Hunter. He added that everyone worked together and that all was
coordinated well between 911 and the responding law enforcement
agencies.