Second Corinth rape, suspect in custody

Crime Stock By Lena Mitchell/Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – A suspect was arrested early Sunday as he tried to flee the scene of the second rape in Corinth in less than two weeks.

Garnett Hughes, 25, of Belzoni, was arrested at a residence on Beechwood Circle about 4:30 a.m. Sunday after police received a call of an intruder in the home, said Det. Capt. Ralph Dance.

Hughes has been charged with armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and burglary with intent to commit assault, Dance said. Evidence has been sent to the Mississippi crime lab to determine if this suspect is the same person sought in a rape at Corinth’s city park on Aug. 15.

Dance calls the 12-year-old daughter of the victim a young hero for being so clear-thinking in her calls to get help for her mother.

“She’s a champion, a brave little girl who saved the day,” Dance said. “She was calm, articulate. I can’t brag on her enough.”

The girl awakened to noises in the house with her mother at the mercy of an intruder, Dance said. She first sent a text to her grandmother, then called 911 for help.

“Our night shift officers responded quickly, surrounded the house and took the suspect in custody,” he said. “We had four detectives who worked 10 hours on the case Sunday to put everything together.”

Officers arrived at the scene and knocked at the door, but received no response.

After knocking repeatedly, they finally heard a female voice inside saying “I can’t come to the door. I don’t have any clothes on.”

When she got something on the woman came and unlocked and opened the door, with officers pulling her outside while they went in to search. Other officers at the rear intercepted a black male suspect who jumped out a back window or the house, Dance said.

When apprehended the suspect was dressed all in black and stood about 6’ or 6’1”, slender build and with short hair.

In her statement the victim said after she arrived home and her kids were in bed, she was still up at about 2:30 a.m. when there was a knock on the door. She thought it was a neighbor who sometimes came by for cigarettes.

Instead it was the suspect, who pointed a gun and pushed her back inside and knocked her to the floor. He asked who else was in the house and told her to crawl back to her room, shouting for her to give him money. In the bedroom she gave him all the money in her purse, then he stripped and raped her. He then dragged her to the bathroom and forced her into the shower. It was at this point that her daughter heard the noise and started calling for help.

“If it hadn’t been for her he might have gotten away,” Dance said.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com