WJTV News Channel 12 - State Representative Jessica Upshaw dies

State Representative Jessica Upshaw dies

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UPDATE 7:45 p.m. Sunday

Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis says Representative Upshaw was found at the home of former Mississippi State Rep. Clint Rotenberry.


UPDATE 7:30 p.m. Sunday

Mendenhall Police Chief Alexander McCullum tells us Representative Upshaw died of a gunshot wound to the head.


News Channel 12 has confirmed State Representative Jessica Upshaw has died.

Warren Strain, the Public Affairs Director for the Department of Public Safety tells us Upshaw was found dead in a home in Mendenhall around 2:00 Sunday afternoon. Strain says the investigation has been turned over to the MBI.

Upshaw served in the State Legislature since 2004. The Republican, representing Hancock and Harrison Counties, was the Chair of the Conservation and Water Resources Committee.

House Speaker Philip Gunn released this statement to News Channel 12: "Once again this Session, the House has been touched by tragedy. Representative Jessica Upshaw was an outstanding legislator and friend. She was one of the brightest and most competent members of the House. Our hearts break for her family, and our prayers go out to them during this tragic time."

Several other Mississippi leaders have taken to Twitter to share their condolences.

MS Attorney General Jim Hood (D): Please hold the family of Rep. Jessica Upshaw in your prayers as we are just learning of her untimely death. She was a born leader and a caring public servant for all. Rest in Peace, Jessica, you'll be missed.

State Senator John Horhn (D): God rest the soul of Rep. Jessica Upshaw. A state representative since 2004, she passed away today.

State Senator Brice Wiggins (R): So saddened by the death of Rep. Upshaw. A true mentor to me. A fellow lawyer, legislator and Coastian. Her legacy will live on.

State Representative Bobby Moak (D): We're mourning the loss of our dear colleague Rep. Jessica Upshaw. She argued without restraints for causes she believed in. She is missed.

Representative Upshaw is the third member of the Mississippi House of Representatives to die this session. Others are David Gibbs and Joe Gardner, both Democrats. Also, Senator Alice Hardin and Senator Bennie Turner passed away near the end of 2012.

We have a crew heading to Mendenhall and will bring you the latest as it becomes available.

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