Robbery suspect charged

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 14, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; The list of charges against Kendall Byrd, the suspected getaway driver in the armed robbery of a Washington gas station, is continuing to grow.

Natchez Police charged Byrd, 18, with a count of strong-arm robbery Wednesday in connection with a Jan. 3 purse snatching on North Commerce Street that sent an elderly woman to the hospital.

Prior to the armed robbery charges from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Byrd was in the city jail on a bench warrant arrest for unrelated charges of contempt of court for disturbing the peace and malicious mischief.

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&uot;Investigators, while interviewing him and other related subjects, were able to develop enough evidence to charge Byrd with strong-arm robbery,&uot; Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

In the January incident the suspect approached a woman walking on the 400 block of Commerce during daylight hours, took her purse and ran. The woman was treated and released from the hospital and police recovered the purse close by shortly after.

Later that month, Jan. 24, another woman was injured and her purse taken in a similar incident on North Union Street. Byrd has not been charged in that incident, but Mullins said the similarities make a connection possible and investigations will continue.

Byrd was in the city jail Wednesday, but Mullins said he would soon be transferred to the county jail.

The ACSO charges Byrd faces allege he, Kendell Shorts and Lonnie Brown were involved with a Jan. 17 armed robbery of the Shell gas station in Washington. Shorts and Brown are accused of entering the store, threatening the clerk with a gun and taking an undetermined amount of cash, beer and cigarettes. Byrd allegedly waited in the car outside.