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Charges upgraded to murder based on continued investigation

NATCHEZ — Charges against the woman accused of killing a man by running him over with the vehicle she was driving have been upgraded to murder.

Alyssa Brooke Standeford, 25, 37B, was originally charged with culpable negligence manslaughter in the early Monday morning death of Kory DeWitt, 25.

Adams County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Courtney Taylor said Wednesday Judge Patricia Dunmore had signed an order upgrading the charge to murder based on continued investigation of the case.

Standeford
Standeford

Taylor declined to discuss what promoted the upgrade in charges.

“The investigation is ongoing and we don’t want to affect it, but the facts we have gathered thus far have substantiated the upgrade,” she said.

Taylor said investigators did not attach a first- or second-degree to the murder charge, leaving the matter up to the grand jury.

The case began at approximately 3 a.m. Monday morning, when deputies responded to the scene of 99 Cloverdale Road, where DeWitt was reportedly living.

An ACSO spokesperson said Monday Standeford had called emergency responders after running over DeWitt, who had been in the vehicle with her.

Standeford reportedly told investigators DeWitt had gotten out of the vehicle while she tried to park it and did not realize he was in the way until she had run over him and heard him banging on the bottom of the car.

The suspect likewise reportedly told investigators she was under the influence of Xanax and Lorcet at the time of the incident.

DeWitt was pronounced dead on the scene.

Adams Coroner James Lee could not be reached for comment Wednesday evening, but said Monday he considered the case a vehicular homicide.

Lee said at the time he expected more evidence to come out following DeWitt’s autopsy Tuesday.

The coroner said Monday he had ruled the case a vehicular homicide and did not believe the death was accidental.

The circumstances left him “perplexed,” Lee said Monday.

When she signed the order upgrading the charge, Dunmore increased Standeford’s bond from $75,000 to $150,000.

Standeford remained detained at the Adams County jail Wednesday evening.