CORINTH – A man who remained hospitalized in serious condition Wednesday is expected to be charged in a bank robbery when he recovers.
Asa Nakeen Warren, 25, of Tuscumbia, Ala., was a passenger in a vehicle that crashed after a high-speed chase with police Tuesday. Killed was the the driver, 24-year-old Vida Deshondrell Byrd, also of Tuscumbia.
According to Corinth Police Chief David Lancaster, Byrd was driving a sport utility vehicle that left the SouthBank branch on South Harper Road, where police had been called about 4:30 p.m. with report of an armed robbery.
She was pronounced dead at NMMC Iuka Hospital after the vehicle crashed and flipped in the median on U.S. Highway 72 in Iuka, just east of the Mississippi Highway 25 exit.
Warren was reported in serious condition with head injuries at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo late Wednesday, and police said he would be charged with armed robbery.
Here’s how Tuesday’s tragic events unfolded, according to authorities:
Warren was in the bank about 1:15 p.m. acting suspiciously. Bank staffers called police, who reviewed a bank video and told them call again if Warren returned.
He returned at 4:29 p.m., and someone called police immediately. Officer Sharon Parker was the first officer on the scene, a minute after the call came in.
However, the suspect still had time to brandish a handgun and demand money from the two tellers. He went behind the counter himself to put money into the plastic bag he had brought with him for that purpose.
Upon leaving the bank, Warren got into the vehicle driven by Byrd. Parker, the officer, followed Warren toward the vehicle, and Byrd purportedly tried to run her down. Parker fired two shots at the passenger-side tires, but missed.
As the SUV driven by Byrd left the scene, another police car arrived and began the chase, with two other police cruisers following.
Byrd headed east on U.S. 72 toward Alabama with a number of law enforcement vehicles joining the pursuit. The chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph before Byrd’s vehicle crashed in Iuka, about 22 miles from Corinth.
At the crash site police recovered a .380 semiautomatic handgun, what appeared to be several thousand dollars in cash from the bank – though they declined to give the exact amount – and about $1,100 that could not be accounted for, Dance said.
The investigation continues with questions about whether that money might be tied to other crimes, Dance said.
Tuscumbia Police Chief Tony Logan said Warren was known to his department because he had served prison time for criminal mischief and breaking into the city municipal building.
“Both of them were residents of Tuscumbia,” Logan said. “She doesn’t have a criminal history with us, but they lived not too far from downtown. It’s very sad, because she leaves behind a young child.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal