SuperTalk Mississippi

Fear of Gangs, Retaliation Could Delay Justice for Jessica

JACKSON, Miss. – It’s been over two weeks now since someone doused Jessica Chambers with fire and burned her alive on a rural Panola County road; and still that person has not been arrested and police say they are getting few leads.

“It’s very possible the criminal element has such a strangle hold, if you will, that people are fearful to talk,” said Herold Gray with the Madison and Rankin Counties District Attorney office.  “There is significant gang presence, statewide, particularly in that area.  Whether not its part of this case remains to be seen.”

Gray said most gang activity in the Panola County area involves Gangsters Disciples and the Mafia Insane Vice Lords.  “They are killing each other every chance they get.”  The battle between them, according to Gray is basically over turf, which leads to the ability to commit crimes for profit.

Gray said gangs recruit children as young as 11-years-old and once involved, there is often no way out. “Some of their by-laws and constitution that we have intercepted stated it is for life and the only way out is by death.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives, which specializes in gang activity, is among the agencies assisting with the investigation in Chambers’ death.

A reward for information leading to an arrest in Chambers’ death is available.  Anyone with information should call crime stoppers.

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