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UPDATE: Jones transported to Oktibbeha County Jail, faces capital murder charge

March 26, 2012

Mason Perry Jones

Editor's note: This story was edited at 9:25 p.m. to include comments about the underlying charge in Jones' capital murder arrest and his transportation to Oktibbeha County.

A Jackson man sought for an armed robbery warrant was arrested in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday and charged with capital murder Monday in the death of 21-year-old Mississippi State University student John D. Sanderson.

MSU spokesperson Maridith Geuder says the underlying charge in Jones' capital murder charge is the sale of a controlled substance.

Deputies confirmed Jones is currently in custody at Oktibbeha County Jail.

Mason Perry Jones, 21, of 3066 Oak Forest Drive, Jackson, was arrested at a Memphis bus stop by the U.S. Marshal Fugitive Task Force Sunday night on a warrant hold for Hinds County. Jackson Police Department Sgt. Sandra Stasher said Jones was wanted in connection with an armed robbery in Hinds County. She said Jones allegedly brandished a firearm and stole a large sum of money and a cell phone from an individual on Raymond Road in late February.

Jones was released to Tennessee authorities after his arrest and extradited to the DeSoto County Jail. MSU Police Department investigators traveled to Hernando Monday and charged Jones with capital murder.
Investigators are still searching for two other suspects involved in the shooting. No motive or cause has been publicly announced by law enforcement. Bill Kibler, MSU vice president for student affairs, said he could not comment if drugs or alcohol played any role in the incident.

Richard Griffin, a supervisory agent for the U.S. Marshal service in Jackson, said his agency received a request from JPD last week seeking help in apprehending Jones on an armed robbery warrant. Jones was not armed at the time of his arrest, Griffin said.

"(Sunday), we developed information from a confidential source that (Jones) was on a bus which left Jackson and was traveling north," he said. "We developed information (to determine the bus), which led us to contact the taskforce in Memphis. They responded to a Greyhound station there, and he was taken into custody in Memphis about 7 p.m."

MSU announced the arrest on its website shortly after 5 p.m. In the release, MSUPD Chief Georgia Lindley said she appreciated the assistance of every law enforcement agency involved.

"We are extremely proud of the diligence shown by our police officers, who have demonstrated the highest level of professionalism during the investigation of this tragic death," MSU President Mark Keenum in the release. "We work very hard to ensure the safety of our students, and we are all saddened that this isolated event has brought tragedy to our campus and to a family who is grieving the loss of a loved one."

Shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday, Sanderson was shot multiple times in Evans Hall. After interviewing witnesses and observing surveillance footage from the dorm, university officials said they were searching for three African American suspects who were seen fleeing the university in a blue, late-model Ford Crown Victoria.

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