Questions unanswered in man’s murder

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 22, 1999

Mystery still surrounds James Allen’s murder on Monday, allegedly at the hand of his own son.

Mark Allen, 44, was charged with murder Tuesday after a nearly nine-hour stand-off with police at the Allen’s residence at 106 Seargent S. Prentiss Drive. Police are awaiting more details but now believe 74-year-old victim did not receive a gunshot wound to the throat as originally stated.

&uot;Preliminary autopsy reports said he suffered two gunshot wounds to the head,&uot;&160;said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff, adding that Allen’s throat was also cut.

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James Allen also sustained minor injuries to his chest and hands, Huff said. Police found his body buried beneath a pile of rugs in the basement. Investigators are still awaiting final autopsy results on his injuries, Huff said. Mark showed no visible injuries.

The stand-off ended around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when a SWAT team flushed Allen out of the basement with pepper spray. Police found two shotguns and a high-powered rifle at the scene as well as several knives, including kitchen and hunting knives.

Investigators are still analyzing the weapons for fingerprints and to determine which ones were used in the incident.

&uot;They all had blood on them,&uot; Huff said. &uot;We are not sure how many times any of the weapons were fired. There is evidence of several (shots being) fired in the house.&uot;

Huff said he wants to dispel some of the rumors surrounding the attack.

&uot;(James Allen) was not dismembered. He was not disemboweled,&uot; Huff said, adding the scene was gruesome because of the type of wounds James Allen suffered.

Police say Mark stopped taking medicine to treat depression and that Mark’s mental state is under investigation. His father had reported him missing Monday.

Police believe James Allen headed for the house around 7 p.m. Monday after a neighbor bumped into him at a restaurant and told him that their front door was open. &uot;He went with the idea that Mark was there,&uot; Huff said.

James’ wife Irene initially stayed at the restaurant, but at around 8 p.m., went home to check after not hearing from her husband. She found the back door blocked with a table, and she called police, Huff said.

Huff would not say whether Allen had confessed to the murder. Allen was was being held at the Natchez City Jail Wednesday on a $50,000 bond. The bond is standard for a non-capital murder charge, said Municipal Court Judge John Tipton.

Despite community concern that Allen may be a danger to society, he is considered competent until proven otherwise and is eligible for bond.

&uot;I share the concern,&uot; Huff said.