By CARL SMITH
Almost 64 hours after the slaying of 21-year-old Mississippi State University student John D. Sanderson, the investigation yielded arrests in three different states.
Richard Griffin, a supervisory agent for the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Jackson, said Trent Deundra Crump, of Flowood, turned himself in at the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department in Florida shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday. ACSD Sgt. Todd Kelly confirmed Crump’s surrender and said the agency was booking him at 3 p.m. local time Tuesday. Crump will make his first appearance before a judge Wednesday morning and could be extradited back to Mississippi, Griffin said.
“The dedication and hard work of our campus police and the extraordinary cooperation of assisting law enforcement agencies have resulted in the swift apprehension of those we believe are responsible for this tragic incident,” MSU President Mark Keenum said in a release shortly after the university announced Crump’s arrest.
Bill Kibler, MSU vice president for student affairs, said the arrests show incredible cooperation between local and regional agencies.
“It’s certainly a great relief and a tribute to the amazing work of all participating authorities. (The arrests) speak volumes of the investigation’s effectiveness and resourcefulness,” Kibler said. “It’s a major relief to our campus. The next step is to get (the suspects) to Oktibbeha County and start piecing their stories together.”
Crump’s surrender follows two other connected arrests in the region.
Duntae Harvey, 21, of Jackson, surrendered peacefully at an apartment complex in Jackson to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force about 7:30 p.m. Monday.
“We actually enlisted the assistance of (Harvey’s) family members. They reached out to him,” Griffin said. “He was frankly scared, very nervous and willing to come with us. As a 29-year law enforcement veteran, I’ve had to go through my share of doors not knowing what was on the other side. It’s great (that he turned himself in).”
Harvey was charged with capital murder on a warrant issued from Oktibbeha County. He was booked and processed at the Rankin County Correction Facility and was scheduled for transport back to Starkville Tuesday.
Mason Perry Jones, 21, of 3066 Oak Forest Drive, Jackson, was also arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday on a Hinds County armed robbery warrant. Jones was extradited to the DeSoto County jail, where he was processed and booked. MSUPD investigators traveled to Hernando Monday and charged Jones with capital murder. Jones is currently in custody at the Oktibbeha County Jail.
Drugs were linked to the shooting when university spokesperson Maridith Geuder said Jones’ charge was elevated to capital murder due to the sale of a controlled substance. Monday night, MSUPD Chief Georgia Lindley told a Memphis TV station all three suspects would face capital murder charges.
Lindley said six people were present in the Evans Hall room when the March 24 homicide occurred — the victim, three suspects and the room’s two occupants. Lindley and other university officials could not confirm the identity of the dorm’s occupants or whether charges would be filed against them due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.
Monday, Kibler said Sanderson lived in Rice Hall, not Evans Hall. When asked why Sanderson was in Evans Hall on the night of the incident, Kibler said he was “probably visiting.”
Funeral services for Sanderson are scheduled today. Kibler said he would be in attendance.