By Joyce Brock/Southern Advocate News Editor
HICKORY FLAT – A 17-year-old Hickory Flat girl died in the hospital Saturday morning after sustaining a gunshot wound. The incident is being investigated as a homicide, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Department.
Cordell Robert Porter, 19, was later arrested in Marshall County and taken to Benton County for questioning. According to Benton County Sheriff Arnie McMullen, Porter is believed to have fired one shot, which passed through the exterior of a mobile home in Burks Trailer Park. The victim, who was standing in the hallway at the time, was hit in the side.
The girl was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union County. She was then transported by ground to the Med in Memphis, TN. (Dangerous flying conditions prevented transportation by air.) According to McMullen, the victim died at the Med sometime around 6 or 6:30 a.m.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, no motive has been established and the investigation is still ongoing. A bond hearing has not yet been held. The name of the victim is not being released at this time.
McMullen said that the tragedy has hit local law enforcement and families hard, especially during the holiday season.
“This kind of tragic crime used to be unheard of in rural Mississippi,” he said. “Times have changed big time.”