Judge denies second request to revoke murder suspect’s house arrest order

Published 12:24 pm Thursday, April 22, 2021

NATCHEZ — Judge Lillie Sanders this morning denied a second request by the Sixth District Attorney’s office to revoke the bond of Jessica Aldridge.

Aldridge, 33, is awaiting trial for the murder of a long-time boyfriend, Joseph Cupit, 41. Aldridge is alleged to have shot him outside her residence on Benbrook Road on March 17, 2019.

Aldridge was released from the Adams County Jail about a year ago because of COVID-19 health concerns.

District Attorney Shameca Collins said Aldridge has continued to not follow court orders for her house arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Sullivan has filed two separate motions to have Aldridge’s bond revoked. Sanders denied the first motion last month and the second one Thursday morning.

Aldridge was reportedly pregnant with another inmate’s child at the time of her release on house arrest. A motion to have her bond reduced was made by Aldridge’s attorney Cynthia Stewart on the grounds that Aldridge is indigent and her incarceration at the Adams County Jail put her health at risk.

Aldridge’s bond was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000 in April 2020 by order of Judge Debra Blackwell after Aldridge produced medical documents to prove that being incarcerated at the jail would be a health risk to her.

According to Blackwell’s court order, Aldridge was ordered to stay at home and wear an electronic monitoring device and pay the device’s monthly service fee. Aldridge is not allowed to have visitors or have access to social media, internet or phone, the order said.

Collins said Aldridge had a court date last month with Judge Sanders at which there was a motion to have her bond revoked so that Aldridge would be placed in the Adams County Jail.

“It was a regularly scheduled motion date and right before that we found out she wasn’t staying at the location she was supposed to be staying at. We brought it to the judge’s attention and asked for her bond to be revoked, but it wasn’t,” Collins said. “(Sanders) allowed her to stay out on house arrest.”

Collins said a second motion was filed because she had learned Aldridge had been out in public while under house arrest. Posts on social media indicate that Aldridge was seen at Duncan Park and dining recently at a Natchez restaurant.

Despite those allegations, Sanders denied the request to revoke Aldridge’s bond.

Aldridge’s attorney, Stewart, also recently filed a motion to change the venue of Aldridge’s trial, which is scheduled to start on May 17, claiming the amount of media attention on Aldridge’s case gives the prosecution an unfair advantage.

On Thursday, Sanders did not rule on the change of venue request and continued that motion until May 7.

A spokesperson for Stewart’s law firm in Madison said Stewart cannot be reached for comment on Thursday because she is in court.