Notorious suspect nabbed after naked sightings in the Cotton District

 James Harmon Duke
Logan Kirkland
Staff Writer

The naked truth may be closer to coming out after police arrested a Starkville man for indecent exposure in the city's Cotton District on Valentine's Day morning.

This isn't the first time Starkville has heard of 22-year-old James Harmon Duke and the accusations facing him have grown to the point that he has earned a nickname among locals, which the Starkville Daily News has opted not to print.

In February 2017, SPD first began investigating reports of a naked individual in the area of University Drive near the MSU campus.

According to the complaints to SPD, the individual was typically spotted between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Once SPD began the initial investigation, the sightings stopped. This included SPD officers on bicycles in the Cotton District searching for the suspect on a regular basis.

Duke is charged with seven counts of indecent exposure, spanning from February 2017 to February 2018.

The investigation included a plain clothes police operation where SPD staff dressed as joggers and made the initial arrest of Duke. SPD was able to make the arrest with the assistance from members in the community.

SPD Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady said the report came in Wednesday morning and officers made contact with Duke within 100 yards of where officers initially responded to.

Duke was reportedly clothed when he was arrested.

Bond was set at $3,500 and he was released shortly after being arrested.

Duke's initial appearance in Starkville Municipal Court is scheduled for March 19.