Murder suspect has long history of violent crimes

Published 6:28 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A Vicksburg man remained in the Warren County Jail in lieu of $2.5 million bond charged with capital murder and armed robbery.

Judge Penny Lawson set the bond for James Robert Reynolds, 30, 1501 Military Ave., at an initial appearance Wednesday in Vicksburg Municipal Court. Reynolds is accused of shooting Eddie James Burns, 28, in the head and taking $5 and a pair of Nike athletic shoes. The shooting occurred Saturday night, Vicksburg police Sgt. Johnnie Reynolds said.

The death is the first homicide of the year.

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Lawson also set bonds of $250,000 each on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Mississippi Department of Corrections officials have also placed a hold on him for parole violation, Edwards said.

The shooting into an occupied vehicle charge involved a Friday incident in which Reynolds fired shots into a vehicle at The Top Five Store, 1108 Bowmar Ave., and is not related to Brown’s death. Reynolds has had previous run-ins with authorities.

He was arrested Nov. 25 after he reportedly took a 1971 Buick Electra and crashed into a house in the 1400 block of South Street. He was released after the victims declined to file charges against him, Edwards said.

According to records with the Warren County District Attorney’s Office, Reynolds, then 17, was sentenced in December 2005 to a total of nine years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of attempted armed robbery, aggravated assault, escape and three counts of armed robbery.

The attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault charges involved a March 2005 attempted robbery at the Super Shop (now the Top Five Store) in which the storeowner was wounded.

He was arrested and later released from the Lauderdale County Jail in November on a charge of simple assault on a corrections officer. The case remains under investigation.

Reynolds was charged after an investigation into Burns’ death that began Sunday after family members reported him missing since Saturday. Burns’ body was found in a grassy area next to the railroad tracks off Court Street with two gunshot wounds to the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Warren County Coroner Doug Huskey and an autopsy was ordered.

Police Sunday afternoon arrested Reynolds in the area of Bowmar Avenue on a misdemeanor warrant for contempt of court and held him for questioning in Burns’ death.

“We had received information that he was the last person seen with Burns,” Edwards said. After further investigation Reynolds was charged with Burns’ death.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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