From Press and Staff Reports
A Calhoun County couple is facing the death penalty in connection with the fatal shooting in Bruce of a former Eupora resident.
Capital murder charges were filed Thursday against JaShon Coleman, 21, of Derma, and Breanna Westmoreland, 17, of Banner. If convicted of capital murder, the only sentencing options are death or life in prison without parole.
Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan said an officer on patrol spotted a car in the parking lot of the Bruce Bait Shop on Highway 32 West around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the
Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. When the officer looked inside the car, he found James Sinclair Pratt, 31, of Weir, who had been shot multiple times. Pratt, who went by his middle name and was a native of Eupora, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The investigation by agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and investigators of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department led authorities to Coleman, who worked with Pratt at Haworth Seating Plant in Bruce, according to the newspaper. The factory is located less than a half-mile from the bait shop.
“From what we had learned, the two men were in the vehicle, and Coleman tried to rob Pratt,” Pollan told the Journal. “The victim resisted and was shot and killed.
“Coleman then got out and got into the car driven by his girlfriend, Westmoreland.”
Coleman is charged with capital murder, armed robbery and possession of a stolen firearm. Westmoreland is charged with capital murder and strong-arm robbery. Pollan said officials consulted with District Attorney Ben Creekmore’s office in the decision to charge Westmoreland as an adult, the Journal reported.
Coleman and Westmoreland were being held in the Calhoun County Jail on $1 million bond each. The weapon believed to have been used in the killing was recovered, according to the Journal.
Funeral services for Pratt, who leaves behind a wife, a son, two stepsons, his parents, a brother and a sister, will be Thursday at Weir Chapel M.B. Church (see full obituary inside this week’s edition).