Elderly White couple killed in a drug-fueled double homicide

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Meridian, Mississippi – An elderly White couple fell victim to a “tragic and violent” double homicide by what police say was a Black man committing a home invasion found with numerous drugs in his possession.

An independent Justice Report investigation revealed the suspect is a prolific career criminal with numerous past charges, including arson, indecent exposure, and child endangerment.

On April 25th, the bodies of 97-year-old Miles Herrington and 94-year-old Ina Herrington were found dead in their own home. At the time of press, Meridian police have declined to provide any details surrounding their murder, asserting that it could jeopardize the case they are building against the suspect.

29-year-old Maurice Christie (left) and Ina and Miles Herrington (right). Collage: Justice Report.

Lauderdale County Coroner Stella McMahan later identified the couple. According to reports, the Herringtons were beloved by their community and had been married for over 70 years.

For the crime, Police arrested 29-year-old Maurice Christie from San Antonio, Texas, slapping him with numerous charges, including two counts of capital murder and three counts of possession of a controlled substance, which include fentanyl, meth, and marijuana. Christie—who is Black—could face the death penalty if convicted. Police assert he and the victims had no connection prior to the killings.

At an initial court appearance on Thursday, Christie was denied bond. He’s currently in custody awaiting an indictment by a Grand Jury. At the hearing, he declined to speak, with reporters from News 11 stating that he “appeared nervous.”

While little is known about Christie or the horrific allegations levied against him, an Independent Justice Report investigation unearthed an alarming criminal history. According to publically accessible records, Christie has faced charges of burglary, drug possession, and other crimes in Bexar County, Texas, all the way back to 2014.

In 2019, Christie was convicted on charges of attempted arson of a habitation or place of assembly. A jury also found him guilty of child endangerment in 2019, and in 2020, Christie earned himself a guilty verdict on charges of indecent exposure and numerous other crimes up until the alleged 2024 murder of the Herringtons in Meridian, Mississippi.

Originally from San Antonio, Christie has been implicated and even convicted in numerous crimes back in Bexar County, Texas. A Kemper County court denied him a bond for his alleged role in murdering the Herringtons. Photo: Kemper County Sheriff’s Department.

It is currently unknown why Christie was allowed to roam the United States as a free man despite his constant run-ins with law enforcement. Meridian locals who knew the Herringtons, however, have pointed to a greater issue that has now negatively impacted their hometown.

“It’s horrifying, I mean, you never know who’s going to show up…the amount of drugs and just all the people that kind of walk up and down the streets,” said Meridian resident Anna Johnston to Twin States News. “…I would like to see Meridian become a safer town and not one that people, you know, call Murderidian.”

“I mean, it’s really scary; you feel unsafe to even get out and anything, roam the streets of Meridian, and I don’t think it’s just Meridian, but I do know that my husband doesn’t even want me going outside alone by myself,” said Brenda Sweeney, another resident.

While Christie appears to be an American citizen, the rampant increase in crime at the hands of strangers in town has many Meridian citizens pointing at the chaos currently unfolding at America’s southern border.

“…It really makes me concerned because of our border crisis,” Sweeney said.

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The looming issue of Black crime has long plagued the Queen City. In 2021, Meridian’s Black Mayor, Jimmie Smith, specifically called out his majority-Black constituents for a spate of killings as a problem that needed to be solved.

“I think we’ve got a problem that has to deal with our community as a whole,” he said to News 11. “You know we hadn’t talked about Black-on-Black crimes, and that’s really what has happened with all these different killings. It’s Black-on-Black crimes. You know we talk about Black Lives Matter, but we’re killing one another.”

“…I would like to see Meridian become a safer town and not one that people, you know, call Murderidian.”

Meridian resident Anna Johnston

Residents of Meridian, Mississippi, especially White ones, are no strangers to the consequences of racial diversity. According to the 2020 US Census Report, White people make up only 28.38% of the city’s population, holding on despite a growing majority Black (65.52%) population.

According to the crime data aggregator NeighborhoodScout, one’s chances of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime in Meridian is one in 28. Compared to the rest of Mississippi, 91% of communities have a lower crime rate than Meridian.

An all-Black Meridian police panel addresses the murder of Ina and Miles Herrington and includes Black police Chief, Deborah Young. Photo: WTOK-TV

In 2023, the FBI ranked Meridian as the 4th most dangerous place in the state of Mississippi. The odds of becoming a victim of a violent crime, such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape, or murder, is 1 in 243. This equates to a rate of 4 per one thousand inhabitants, alleges NeighborhoodScout.

In October, two Black criminals from Meridian found themselves among 37 others strung up in federal RICO charges for their alleged ties to the Simon City Royals gang. According to reports, SCR is a violent prison gang that maintains close ties to the infamous Gangster Disciples and was involved in numerous crimes ranging from murder and kidnapping to drug trafficking and fraud.

The tragic murder of two elderly White people by an alleged Black career criminal is merely the latest headline involving vulnerable people and acts of interracial savagery. In April, a Black caregiver was arrested for a brutal assault of a 93-year-old White dementia patient at an assisted-living home in Flint, Michigan.

The horrific incident, which was caught on a discreet camera, depicted the Black woman, later identified as 26-year-old Dontia Shawnra Arrington, choking, hitting, and beating the defenseless victim.

In South Fulton, Georgia, a Black man was convicted of attempted murder of a baby after a jury found him guilty of poisoning his newborn daughter with antifreeze. The man was ultimately sentenced to 50 years in state prison, confessing that he tried to kill the child in order to escape child support payments.

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