A Coila man was indicted for capital murder in the 2018 death of an infant.
Tervonte Alexander, 20, is charged with capital murder for the November 14, 2018, death of Sawyer Jerrell Holston, nine months.
According to the indictment, Alexander is charged with capital murder because the death of Holston occurred while “engaged in the commission of the crime of Felony Child Abuse and/or Battery of a Child.”
Alexander is also facing a possible death penalty if convicted, according to Mississippi law.
According to Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker, Alexander was originally charged with murder, but that charge was upgraded shortly after his arrest to capital murder when he was officially charged with felony child abuse.
Walker said a pathologist specializing in child abuse was brought in to review the autopsy, and due to his findings, Alexander’s charges were amended.
“[The specialist] found that it was not just a one-time instance [of child abuse],” Walker said. “We can prove the child has been abused over an extended period of time.”
According to Walker, on the evening of November 14, deputies responded to a call in reference to an unresponsive infant at a residence located at 2824 County Road 149 in Coila.
Walker said that Alexander, who is not the baby’s father, was sitting with the child at his residence for the mother, with whom he is in a romantic relationship. Walker said he called the mother and told her the baby was unresponsive, and the mother called 911.
He said after deputies arrived at the scene, they performed CPR on the child until MedStat arrived and transported him to Greenwood Leflore Hospital.
The child was pronounced dead at 5:18 p.m. on November 14 and was taken to the Mississippi Crime Lab in Pearl for an autopsy.
Walker said Carroll County Coroner Mark Stiles contacted his office with the autopsy results on November 16, 2018.
“The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head,” Walker said. “A homicide.”
Walker said in the course of the investigation conducted by Carroll County deputies and agents with Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Alexander was developed as a suspect. He was arrested on November 16, 2018.
Originally held without bond, Walker said Judge George Mitchell set a bond of $50,000 recently following a hearing in circuit court. Alexander is currently out on bond.
Also indicted by a grand jury in Carroll County:
• Devon Herndon was indicted for burglary of a dwelling house in connection with the burglary of a home on Highway 35 south which occurred on February 5, 2020.
• Brenda Corley was indicted for possession of methamphetamine, a schedule II controlled substance (one-tenth gram or more but less than two grams).
• Willie Earl Blackmon was indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He is also facing two sentencing enhancements for habitual offenders.
• Willie Earl Blackmon was indicted for burglary of a building other than a dwelling. He is also facing a sentencing enhancement as a habitual offender.
• Cody Beck was indicted for felony fleeing of a law enforcement officer in a motor vehicle in connection with an October 16, 2019, incident.
• Jacob Dylan Cobb was indicted on three counts of burglary of a dwelling house and one count of trafficking in stolen firearms. According to the indictment, Cobb stands accused of burglarizing a homes located on County Road 41, County Road 93, and County Road 193. He also stands accused of possessing “two or more stolen firearms, to wit: a Marlin 30-30 Model 336 and a Heritage Rough Rider .22 Caliber Revolver, constituting a common scheme or plan or related series of acts or transactions.”