Yazoo bar fight arrests not over,’ assistant chief says

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2005

One of the 9 MM casings found in the parking lot at the Chocolate City Club Wednesday. (MEREDITH SPENCER The Vicksburg Post)

[1/27/05]YAZOO CITY Casings from spent 9 mm bullets still litter the gravel parking lot at the Chocolate City club days after 21-year-old Alisha Turner was shot and killed there Sunday morning.

Authorities have spread out across four counties including Warren to question people at the club that night and arresting four men, including two from Vicksburg.

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Yazoo City Assistant Police Chief Larry Echols said Wednesday that investigators are still unsure about what started the fight that moved into the parking lot and involved up to 100 people, but that more arrests are possible in the next few days. Turner was reportedly a bystander, preparing to leave when gunfire erupted.

“This thing is not over. Not completely over,” Echols said.

Bonds were set Wednesday for two of the men charged.

Bond was set at $100,000 for Willie Jermaine Williams, 22, of Fayette, who is charged with murder, and $30,000 for Darnell Davis, 44 of Yazoo City, who is charged with aggravated assault. Both men were in the Yazoo County jail.

Allen White III, 22, 4903 Halls Ferry Road, also remained in the Yazoo County jail on a $100,000 bond and charged with murder while Thomas Tubbs Jr., 21, 2002 Rainy Drive, was released on a $1,000 bond. Tubbs, who surrendered to Yazoo City authorities Monday, is also charged with murder.

The Yazoo City Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted this week to shut down the Chocolate Club on South Industrial Parkway. City officials also voted to shut down another club after police reported violence there, too.

Echols said the two clubs were some of the worst of about 20 in the county of about 12,000 people.

“We’ve had to go out there and shut them down and run people off before,” Echols said. “But, nothing ever this bad. This was just stupid.”

Vicksburg, which has a population of about 26,000, has 11 clubs that are licensed to sell beer and alcohol not including restaurants that serve liquor.

Outside the city limits, there are about four bars, said Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

“We began seeing a decline in the small nightclubs in the mid-90s, about the same time the casinos became established in Vicksburg,” Pace said.

He said that before then there were a lot more in Vicksburg and Warren County, which has a total population of about 50,000.

Gambling became legal in Vicksburg following a 1992 public vote and since 1993 four casinos have opened. The casinos are open 24 hours a day.