Murry charged with murder in death of Starkville man

Joshua Allen Murry

SDN Editor

A Columbus man initially viewed as a person of interest in the death of a Starkville man has officially been charged with murder after the body of 24-year-old Jarrel Ward was found earlier this month in a heavily-wooded area of Lowndes County. 

Lowndes County Sheriff Mike Arledge said in a press release on Monday that 27-year-old Joshua Allen Murry has been charged with murder and will have an initial court appearance in the next 48 hours

The case will be presented to a grand jury during the next circuit court term in Lowndes County in October. 

The investigation included the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department, Starkville Police Department, the Columbus Police Department and authorities in Arkansas. 

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant told the Starkville Daily News earlier this month that Ward’s body was found by a resident in the 900 block of Sand Road sometime on the night of Aug. 1, about six miles northeast of Columbus.

According to Merchant, the body had been there for several days. 

He also expressed his belief that Ward was killed in another location and his body was left where it was found. 

According to Ward’s family, he was last seen alive on the morning July 26 at the Donut Factory on Highway 45 in Columbus.

Ward’s family then reported him missing to the Columbus Police Department.  

According to Clay County Circuit Court records, since being placed on probation in Lowndes County Circuit Court on the drug charges in May 2016, Murry’s been arrested on misdemeanor charges in Columbus and Lowndes County but failed to show up or pay fines. 

He was also arrested on Aug. 1 by Columbus Police on contempt of court warrants from Columbus City Court and served with similar warrants from Lowndes County Justice Court. 

The Mississippi Department of Corrections also has a hold on him for a probation violation.

No information has been released at this time as to how Ward and Murry knew each other and Arledge said the investigation is on-going.