Man charged in year-old Verona murder



By JB Clark

Daily Journal

VERONA – An almost 15-month-old unsolved murder case has moved forward now that Verona Police have charged a Tupelo man in connection with the shooting.

Nathaniel Whitfield, 19, was formally charged with capital murder Wednesday morning in his initial appearance in Lee County Circuit Court before Judge James L. Roberts Jr.

Police said a man walked into the office of the Bailey Apartments between 5:30 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Nov. 30, 2012, and fired multiple shots.

Jeya “Jay” Suppiah, 46, owner of the Bailey Apartments on Raymond Avenue and many other apartments in Verona, died in the office from a gunshot wound to the head.

A second person in the apartment office was shot and recovered from the wounds.

Many apartment complex residents said they heard three gunshots that night and then saw someone fleeing.

Verona Police Chief Anthony Anderson said he cannot go into more detail about the arrest or investigation because it still is ongoing but will release more information as soon as he can.

Suppiah was one of the largest rental property owners in Verona and city officials and employees have said he was in the process of cleaning up his property and evicting problem tenants at the time of his death.

He was a native of Malaysia but came to the United States to attend the University of Mississippi where he got a civil engineering degree in 1993. He became a naturalized citizen in 2006.

Whitfield is being held in the Lee County Jail without bond.

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