Two Utica men jailed in killing of Vicksburg man

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 14, 2003

[1/14/03]Hinds County authorities this morning were holding two Utica men in the November slaying of a Vicksburg man.

Barry Butler, 2346 Cook Road, and Kendrick Brown, P.O. Box 320, were arrested Friday by Hinds County officials and charged with murder in the shooting of Kerry Adrian Diggs, 35, of Enchanted Drive.

Diggs was found shot to death Nov. 10 in a blue 1982 Chevrolet van in a ditch off Cannada Cross Road in Hinds County.

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Hinds County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Pam Turner said she made the arrests in Utica.

“I made the arrests two months to the day after he was killed,” she said.

Turner said Diggs had been shot multiple times, but she declined to say how many times he was shot or identify the weapon used. She also said the investigation has not revealed a motive for the shooting.

The discovery of Diggs’ body was made by Hinds County Sheriff’s deputies after residents in the area off Mississippi 27 reported they heard shots fired. Diggs was the only occupant of the van when he was found.

Debra Sharp of Vicksburg, Diggs’ sister-in-law, said family members have been told little by investigators, only that there had been two arrests and the investigation had yet to turn up a motive.

She remembered her brother-in-law as a talented mechanic.

“He did excellent mechanic work and auto body work,” she said of the self-employed mechanic, body repairman and automotive painter, adding that Diggs worked out of his home in Enchanted Hills.

“He was a good-hearted person,” she said.

Millie Banks, Diggs’s mother, said her son was in Hinds County to work on someone’s car. Since he did not have a shop, he carried his tools in his van, she said.

Turner said the investigation confirmed Diggs was working on a car in Hinds County.

“He was at Barry Butler’s house, but we can’t say if it was Barry Butler’s car” he was working on, she said.

Banks asked if anyone has any information about her son’s death to call the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department at 974-2900.

No ages were available for Butler and Brown, who were in the Hinds County Detention Center today without bond.