Jackson man sentenced to life in prison for death of Missouri woman

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MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A Jackson man was sentenced to life in prison on Monday, December 7, for the 2015 death of a Missouri woman in Ridgeland. Zebulum James, 27, was convicted of the murder of Kristy Mitchell on December 3, 2020.

On November 19, 2015, Ridgeland police were notified about a shooting at the Logan’s Roadhouse on County Line Road. Upon arrival, they located Mitchell, 48, who was from Excelsior Springs, Missouri and staying at the Drury Inn on a business trip.

Investigators said Mitchell had been shot in her abdomen by James, who was driving a blue Mustang. Witnesses stated that the Mustang left the parking lot heading south towards Hinds County on I-55. Officers later received information, from the Jackson Police Department, that they were working multiple crime scenes involving a man driving a blue Mustang.

After a joint investigation, it was determined James had shot and killed a woman at a gas station in Hinds County, shot a JATRAN bus, shot into a house in Jackson, and shot and killed Mitchell all within an hour and half period. Suzanne Hogan also died during the crime spree.

James was arrested at his mother’s apartment in Jackson. Authorities also located the blue Mustang as well as the gun that was used in both murders.

James went to trial in Madison County Monday asserting an insanity defense. Multiple forensic psychiatrists evaluated James over an extended period of time and testified at trial that he was not insane at the time of the murder.

James said he believed his case was mismanaged.

“I wasn’t even here for my own trial,” James said. “They had my own trial without me. I requested multiple times to fire this man [his attorney] but they’re still forcing me to go through trial with a lawyer I did not want to be represented by.”

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