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City of D’Iberville discussing potential new roadway

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www.wxxv25.com – Jazell Ladner – 2023-01-20 18:06:33

D’Iberville is looking into adding a new roadway.

The road would connect into the existing Mandal Parkway at Galleria and go through the interstate commercial zone area which is a mixture of commercial development and an old residential area. It would also tie back into Popps Ferry Road and Dewey Lawrence Circle.

The road would help make a smooth transition of traffic flow and potential expansion for a commercial area.

The City of D’Iberville a public hearing to discuss the proposal on Wednesday, where a lot of residents voiced their concerns….

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Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $940M after no winner

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www.wxxv25.com – WXXV Staff – 2023-01-04 14:05:23

Mega Millions
A customer fills out a Mega Millions lottery ticket at a convenience store Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Northbrook, Ill. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions jackpot increased to an estimated $940 million after another drawing resulted in plenty of losers but not a single grand prize winner.

The numbers drawn late Tuesday were: 25, 29, 33, 41, 44 and gold Mega Ball 18.

The next drawing is to be held Friday night.

The new $940 million jackpot is for a winner who chooses to be paid through an annuity over 29 years. Nearly all winners opt…

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NAACP sues Mississippi over legislative redistricting plan

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www.wxxv25.com – Associated Press – 2022-12-21 07:31:38

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi is perpetuating a legacy of racial discrimination because lawmakers failed to draw enough majority-Black districts for the House and Senate, advocates say in a filed Tuesday.

The Mississippi NAACP and five Black residents of Mississippi filed the suit in federal court in Jackson, challenging districts that are to be used in the 2023 election. The suit comes six weeks before candidates’ qualifying deadline of Feb. 1.

The suit says redistricting plans for the 122-member…

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American Red Cross asking for blood donations to get through the rest of the year

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www.wxxv25.com – WXXV Staff – 2022-12-19 11:48:24

The American Red Cross is holding blood drives across the Coast during the season to ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood through the end of the year.

As a thank-you, all who come to give through January 2 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Below is a list of blood drives through the end of the year on the Coast.

Bay Saint Louis

12/20/2022: noon – 5 p.m., Media For Red Cross- Hancock County, Central Bible Church, 2005 Longfellow Dr.

12/19/2022: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Edgewater Mall, 2600 Beach…

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Mississippi set to execute man for killing 16-year-old girl

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www.wxxv25.com – WXXV Staff – 2022-12-14 14:44:31

Thomas Edwin Loden Jr
FILE – This May 25, 2022, photo released by the Mississippi Department of Corrections shows Edwin Loden Jr., who is set to receive a lethal injection at the in Parchman, Miss., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (Mississippi Department of Corrections via AP, File)

By MICHAEL GOLDBERG
Associated Press/Report for America

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A Mississippi man who pleaded guilty to raping and killing a 16-year-old girl is to be put to .

He would become the second inmate executed in Mississippi in 10 years. Fifty-eight-year-old…

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Marine’s troubled life set to end with execution

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Marine’s troubled life set to end with execution

Editor’s note: This story contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or dial 988. Local resources include the Mississippi Department of Mental Health DMH Helpline at 1-877-210-8513.

Today’s execution of Loden Jr. may bring some closure to his victim’s family but also, barring any last-minute stays, end to a troubled life.

While no justification can be made for Loden’s assault and murder of a 16-year-old waitress, what brought him to that point may be found in his past.

In court documents, attorneys for Loden have told the story of a man who was physically and sexually abused as a child and experienced post-traumatic stress disorder from his military deployment.

The 58-year-old has been on row for over 20 years for the 2000 murder and rape of Leesa Gray in Dorsey in Itawamba County.

He had no criminal record prior to Gray’s murder, his attorneys said.

Loden was born to a mother who married his father at age 17 to escape a difficult home life, according to court documents.

His father was physically and sexually abusive toward his mother, and it is likely Loden witnessed the abuse, court documents say.

His parents divorced when he was a toddler, and Loden bounced between living with his parents. Court documents say his step parents physically abused him.

Loden also experienced sexual abuse from a church staff member at Bible school.

As a result of trauma, he had attempted suicide several times and had substance use problems, according to court documents.

Loden gained stability when he went to live with his grandparents on their farm in Itawamba County, according to court documents.

After graduating from Itawamba Agricultural High School in 1982, Loden joined the Marine Corps.

His commanding officer described Loden as “a poster Marine” and the “hardest charging Marine I have ever had work for me,” according to court documents.

He sought promotion opportunities, eventually reaching the rank of gunnery sergeant. Throughout his career, he received several awards and medals such as the Combat Action Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Good Conduct Medal, according to court documents.

Loden served in the Gulf War where his unit was often attacked. He witnessed deaths, including that of a close friend.

That friend’s death experience changed him, Loden’s wife said in court documents, and she said he was different after the war. He drank heavily, took drugs, had nightmares and flashbacks and picked fights. He became less social, distant from loved ones and felt anxious in crowds.

A psychologist who worked with Loden’s attorneys diagnosed him with chronic PTSD from combat, complex PTSD from his childhood and borderline personality disorder.

After deployment, Loden was transferred a number of times, including in 1995 to Virginia to be an instructor for the Marine Corps’ Anti-Terrorism Security Team – a prestigious and high pressure assignment.

In Virginia, he met his third wife. His two previous marriages ended when his wives were unfaithful, according to court documents. He had a daughter with his third wife, and the family moved to Vicksburg for him to work as a recruiter.

His third marriage also turned out to be troubled.

Loden’s attorneys argued their strained relationship, paired with drugs and alcohol, influenced how he acted the night of Gray’s death.

Days before the murder, Loden traveled from Vicksburg to his grandparent’s farm to care for his grandmother. He was also stressed from the recruiting quotas at work, according to court documents.

He had been drinking and took drugs throughout the day when he received a call from his wife, who claimed she had telephone sex with a partner from the law firm where she worked, and that she planned to have sex with him while Loden was away, according to court documents.

That evening he went to Comer’s Restaurant where Gray was his waitress and tried to flirt with the teenager. Loden waited until she was off work and found her parked by the side of the road with a flat tire.

He offered help and told her he was with the Marines. He asked if she ever thought about joining, and Gray gave a response that angered him, according to court documents. Loden forced her into his van, where he repeatedly raped and murdered her.

The psychologist said Loden experienced a localized episode of dissociative amnesia when he killed Gray, according to court documents.

When her body was discovered in his car, law enforcement found Loden lying by the side of the road with self-inflicted wounds on his wrists and the words “I’m sorry” carved into his chest, according to court documents.

During his 2001 trial, Loden admitted to killing Gray, as opposed to letting her go, because it would “tarnish [his] image as the perfect Marine.” In later appeals, mitigation evidence became a focus of his attorneys’ argument that Loden had ineffective assistance of counsel.

Loden pleaded guilty to all counts and waived his right to a jury for trial and sentencing, hoping to spare Gray’s family and friends a long trial.

“I hope you may have some sense of justice when you leave here today,” he said during his trial.

This article first on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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