Couple faces drug charges after high speed chase through Madison Parish, Warren County

Published 6:01 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2022

A couple faces multiple charges after a Dec. 31  high-speed car chase involving Madison Parish, La., and Warren County sheriff’s deputies.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said Tayler Darnell Dawkins, 28, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Reneisha Lashun Miller, no age given, of Wichita, Kansas, are each charged with trafficking in marijuana and child abuse. Dawkins is charged with felony eluding in connection with the chase. Both were released after posting bond.

Pace said two pounds of high-grade marijuana were confiscated after the chase and a loaded .40-caliber handgun was found under the car seat. He said the couple was traveling with two children, a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old.

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According to sheriff’s office reports, Warren County authorities were notified about 8:30 a.m. Dec. 31 that Madison Parish deputies were attempting to stop a black Nissan SUV going eastbound on Interstate 20 at a high rate of speed.

When the SUV crossed into Mississippi, its speed was clocked on radar in excess of 100 mph and Warren County deputy David Culbertson joined the Madison Parish deputies in the chase west of Bovina. At that point, the Madison Parish deputies called off their chase, turning it over to Warren County authorities and Culbertson was able to stop the SUV on I-20 between the Flowers exit and the Hinds County line.

As Culbertson was taking Dawkins into custody, Pace said, he saw the children in the back seat of the SUV. A search after Dawkins and Miller were taken into custody revealed the marijuana in two packages near the children in the backseat. The handgun was found under the driver’s seat. Items used in the sale of marijuana were also found. The children were placed in the custody of state Child Protective Services officials and were later released to family members.

The case has been referred to the grand jury.

In another matter, a large tree fell on Oak Ridge Road Tuesday morning between Cameron Drive and Boy Scout Road, crushing the front end of a passing car, damaging two others and blocking Oak Ridge Road for about an hour, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

The incident occurred about 10:50 a.m. He said the vehicle with the most damage was occupied by two men who were treated at the scene for minor injuries by Vicksburg Fire Department paramedics.

Pace said the vehicle was southbound on Oak Ridge Road when the tree fell across its front. A vehicle behind the first car was struck by tree branches, as was a northbound vehicle. The other two cars had moderate damage, he said. The occupants of the other cars received minor injuries.

“There was nothing that appeared to be a direct cause,” the sheriff said. “The wind was not blowing; this was a very large older tree and it just fell across the road as the vehicles were passing.”

Warren County firefighters, a Vicksburg Fire Department Ambulance and sheriff’s deputies responded and Warren County road department workers cleared the roadway.

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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