Alcorn student shot to death, another jailed

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 13, 2009

LORMAN — An Alcorn State University student was charged this morning with shooting and killing a fellow student and fellow member of the Port Gibson High School Class of 2006.

Eboni Bena White, 21, 1165 Mississippi 552, is accused of firing five shots into the head and chest of Danielle Nicole Newsom, who was 22, just as deputies arrived in response to a disturbance call at White’s residence in Stallings Mobile Home Park near the university’s rural campus. Newsom lived nearby.

Claiborne County Sheriff Frank Davis, who also is Alcorn’s campus police chief, said a .22-caliber handgun was recovered. “I don’t know which shot killed her. The autopsy report will tell us,” he said.

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The autopsy will be done at the Mississippi Crime Lab in Jackson today, Claiborne County Coroner J.W. Mallett said.

Davis said deputies heard gunshots as they arrived in response to a neighbor’s call. “It was a call to (White’s) residence,” Davis said, adding that deputies saw White holding the weapon and found Newsom dead outside.

Witnesses reported the two women had been arguing earlier in the week after White accused Newsom of almost running over White’s child, Davis said. Thursday morning, Newsom, 1152 Mississippi 552, went across the highway to White’s home to confront her, Davis said.

“We didn’t find any weapon that Newsom had,” Davis said about whether White could have been acting in self-defense.

The sheriff said he would study evidence and hear witness statements as his investigation continues.

White was in the Claiborne County Jail without bond this morning pending her initial court appearance, Davis said. The weapon and other recovered evidence will be sent to the Crime Lab, he said.

According to reports, Newsom, described as lively and upbeat, was the granddaughter of an Alcorn faculty member, and White was a nice and quiet person who served as a trainer for the football team.

Both were in the class of about 130 that completed Port Gibson High School three years ago and had decided to enroll in the state university nearby.

Alcorn President George E. Ross said in a statement released by university relations, “The death of Ms. Newsom is a matter of great sorrow for the entire Alcorn family. We offer her family and friends our prayers, support and deepest sympathy.”

The school is offering counseling to students, faculty and staff, and university police are taking some additional precautions, according to school relations.

Ross added, “Although this incident happened off campus, our first priority is to ensure that the Alcorn community is a safe place to live and learn. We want to make sure our faculty, staff and students are taken care of during this difficult time.”

The mobile home park is about three miles from the campus, where 3,339 students are enrolled.


Contact Tish Butts at