WJTV News Channel 12 - Man shot, killed in Utica; niece kidnapped

Man shot, killed in Utica; niece kidnapped

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SUSPECT: Michael Wright SUSPECT: Michael Wright
KIDNAPPED: Sharice Latham KIDNAPPED: Sharice Latham
HINDS COUNTY - UTICA -

Law enforcement across the state is searching for an alleged killer and kidnapper.

Hinds County Sheriff's Department officials learned a man had been found dead inside his home around 10:30 Wednesday morning. That home is at 3087 Flint Young Road near Utica. Neighbors say 55-year-old Jerry Brent lived there with his niece, 32-year-old Sharice Latham. Wednesday morning, Brent was found shot-to-death, and Latham has been kidnapped, according to Hinds County authorities.

The suspect is 37-year-old Michael Wright.

We've learned Wright was charged in another murder in Panola County in December of last year. Panola County authorities allege he kidnapped and killed 39-year-old Cera White Cannon on Christmas Eve last year. Panola County Investigator Edward Dickson tells us that wasn't a Capital Murder charge, so Wright was bailed out of jail on a $500,000 property bond back in February. Now authorities believe he's killed again.

"Jerry was a good guy. Never bothered anybody, minded his own business. He didn't bother anybody" says the victim's sister-in-law, Emma Young.

The Hinds County Coroner says Jerry Brent was shot-to-death inside his home. Relatives say his niece, Sharice Latham, recently moved in with her uncle after ending her relationship with Michael Wright. Authorities believe Wright killed Brent and abducted Latham.

"We heard from her like 8:30 this (Wednesday) morning, and that was the last time anybody heard from her," says Young. "We're just hoping and praying nothing happened to her, because she won't answer her phone."

Officials with the Hinds County Sheriff's Department say Wright and Latham are in her 2000 Nissan Sentra with the license plate HNS 690. Officials statewide are on the lookout.

"She's a nice, kind person," says Tameaka Wolfe, Latham's cousin. "She's sweet, she tries to help others, and I just can't believe the situation she's going through."

Now they're pleading with her alleged abductor to do the right thing.

"She's such a sweet, warm-hearted person. Please bring her back to her family," says Latham's friend, Pauline Caston.

"I would just ask him to do whatever he thinks God would want us to do. Bring her home safely," says Wolfe.

Investigator Dickson tells us Michael Wright just appeared in court last week and was set to go to trial on the previous murder charge next April.

Authorities say he's armed and dangerous.

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