Aldridge submits open plea in court; sentencing set for May 27

Published 5:01 pm Monday, April 18, 2022

NATCHEZ — Sentencing is set for May 27 for Jessica Aldridge, whose attorney, Cynthia Stewart, unexpectedly made an open plea on behalf of Aldridge in Adams County Circuit Court today to manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Aldridge was charge with murdering her longtime boyfriend, Joseph Cupit, 41, on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at 27 Benbrook Road, Aldridge’s home.

Jessica Renee Aldridge, 34, entered an open plea to manslaughter and felon in possession of a firearm. (Democrat file photo)

Attorney General Lynn Fitch appointed an attorney general special assistant to try the case after Judge Lillian Blackmon Sanders removed the Sixth District Attorney Shameca Collins’ office because of a potential conflict.

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“They went in there for typical pre-trial motions today and while there, her attorney made an open plea to manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” said Michelle Williams, Fitch’s chief of staff and communications director.

Sentencing is set for May 27.

“We had some plea discussions, but were not part of a plea deal,” Williams said. “This is going to the judge, who will decide sentencing.”

According to law enforcement records, Cupit was found lying by his vehicle by the road. At the time, Aldridge told deputies she and Cupit got into a heated argument and that Cupit choked her.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said at the time the victim was trying to leave the residence and was trying to get into his vehicle. Eyewitnesses allegedly corroborated the verbal dispute, but not the physical aspects, including the choking. Witnesses told deputies Aldridge fired the shots from the residence.

During her time in jail, Aldridge got pregnant and was released on several occasions on house arrest, only to violate terms of her release. She is back in the Adams County Jail, awaiting sentencing.