Cotton District murder suspects plead not guilty

Syboris Pippins, 18, (left) and Jaylen Barker, 20 have been charged with capital murder in connection to a 2016 shooting death of an MSU student in the Cotton District
Staff Writer

Two Lowndes County men pleaded not guilty to murder charges in connection to the shooting death of a Mississippi State University student in the Cotton District in 2016.

Jaylen Barker, 20 and Syboris Pippins, 18 were formally charged with capital murder in Lowndes County Circuit Court on Wednesday. Barker was also charged with possession of a stolen firearm.

Both Barker and Pippins were denied bond and the trial dates are set for Jan. 29, 2018 in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.

Attorney Anthony Farese will represent Barker and attorney Brent Brumley will represent Pippins.

Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens will serve as the judge for both cases.

Pippins and Barker are currently being held in Oktibbeha County Jail.

The Starkville Police Department previously said investigators believe the victim, Joseph Tillman, interacted with the four suspects for several minutes before the fatal shot was fired. The victim then chased one of the suspects towards Stagger In Sports Grill, before returning to the location of the other suspects.

It is unclear if a physical altercation occurred between Tillman and the suspects, but authorities stated a verbal altercation may have taken place before the shooting and prior to the suspected robbery.
Both Barker and Pippins were charged on Nov. 10, 2016.