Bail set in attempted murder

Published 11:47 pm Friday, August 14, 2015

A couple held without bail for more than a year in an attempted murder case with a 70-year-old victim will have the opportunity to get out of jail before they face trial in November.

Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick set bail at $100,000 for Bryan Jason Morton, 34, of Port Gibson and Kimberly Nicole Chatman, 24, of Vicksburg, after Morton’s attorney filed a motion for a bond reduction.

Warren County Judge Johnny Price had previously denied bail for both suspects.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

District Attorney Ricky Smith argued against the bail reduction, citing the nature of the case in which a 70-year-old woman was beaten and left for dead in her home on Warriors Trail.

“This case is a priority case for Nov. 9 because of the victim’s age,” Smith said.

Patrick ruled the reduction extended to Chatman, though neither she nor her attorney sought a reduction in bail.

Defense Attorney Eugene Perrier, who represents Morton, said the motion came so late because he was waiting to receive evidence.

“There’s some DNA evidence that unfortunately didn’t come back in a month. It came back in three or four months,” Perrier said.

Neither Chatman nor her attorney, Michael Warren, were present for the hearing.

The couple is charged with attempted murder, home invasion and burglary in an attack on a woman May 4, 2014 in the 3600 block of Warriors Trail, according to court records.

The attack left the woman hospitalized for days, records indicate.

Morton surrendered to deputies in June 2014 after he was featured in a television newscast of the state’s most wanted suspects.

Chatman was arrested May 5, 2014, after two men called 911 when they discovered her covered in blood and stranded in a vehicle on U.S. 80.

The Mississippi Department of Human Services took a 6-month-old child in the vehicle with Chatman when she was arrested into custody.

Inside the vehicle Chatman was driving, deputies reported they found the 70-year-old woman’s purse, and a hunting license belonging to another resident of that address. When deputies arrived at the home, they found the woman lying in a pool of blood in her bedroom.