An investigation into the tragic shooting death of a Jasper County woman last week is still ongoing.
Dominique Ann Henry, 30, of Bay Springs was shot and killed by a Jasper County homeowner, Christopher Wade Robertson, after she allegedly beat on Robertson’s home door very early in the morning and eventually stole his wife’s car from the residence on Highway 528 last Wednesday. Robertson’s home is located about a mile west of the old Stockman’s Grocery location.
According to Jasper County Sheriff Randy Johnson, his department responded to the shooting scene shortly before 5:00 last Wednesday morning near the intersection of County Road 29 and Highway 528. Upon arrival law enforcement officials found Henry shot in the chest and dead in the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shortly after the deadly finding and further into the preliminary investigation, Johnson turned over the investigation to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, because Robertson’s wife works as a part-time employee with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department.
“We don’t police our own,” said Johnson, referring to investigations involving personnel within his department. Johnson spent many years with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and MBI prior to becoming sheriff. “His wife [Robertson’s] works part-time, as needed, dispatch for me. I think the last time she worked was probably two months ago, but there’s still the fact that she works for me. That’s why I asked MBI to take this, because it is unethical to work a death on somebody that has ties to your department. For MBI to work a case like this is not out of the ordinary.”
Johnson went on to say that Robertson, the shooter in the MBI case, was employed as a police officer in Laurel at one time and was fired from that department due to the accusation of strong-arming a man after a chase. He has never worked for Johnson’s department.
Jasper County News contacted a spokesperson with the Mississippi Highway Patrol/MBI Monday about the ongoing investigation into Henry’s unfortunate death. No information was relayed by that spokesperson since the investigation is still not completed.
Johnson said Monday one of his investigators is working alongside MBI with the investigation, and he has spoken with his investigator daily since the incident and subsequent investigation. The sheriff shared some details about the investigation he has learned from his investigator that he feels is pertinent that the family of the victim and the community need to know. There have been numerous rumors about the incident floating around, and Johnson wanted to share as many facts as he could at this stage of the investigation.
“I’m going to answer questions for y’all [JCN] today. I talked to the family the other day, and I told them I want to answer any questions I can for them. They deserve answers, and that’s what we are trying to do to the best of our ability,” Johnson stated. “I know MBI; I’ve worked for them. They [MBI] are kind of tight-lipped, which they need to be while you are working something like this. But, I told them [victim’s family] to come sit in my office and ask any questions, and I would answer them to the best of my ability.”
Johnson said that as of Monday afternoon Robertson has not been charged by MBI with any crime to date in the shooting death of Henry, adding that he is the shooter “no-doubt, without a fact.”
However, whether the shooting was justifiable or not is the looming question; that’s one of the aspects of the case that MBI is currently investigating.
“This lady lost her life, without a doubt. We know who shot her, without a doubt. We have a real good understanding of what led up to this, and I’ve told the family you have to be able to prove that a crime has been committed. Is this a justifiable shooting? It’s not my decision to make; it’s MBI. They’ll get the case together and will give it to the district attorney. He’ll look it over and will present it to the grand jury, if he sees it needs to be. If they [MBI] deem that a crime has been committed [they can go arrest him now]; I’m not saying one hasn’t been, but I’m not comfortable saying now that they [MBI] have enough to go arrest this man and charge him with something.”
Johnson maintained during the interview with JCN Monday that much of his knowledge of the case is second-hand from his investigator who has been assisting MBI since the shooting occurred; however, he feels that county residents need to know something about the incident.
With his knowledge of the case, Johnson dispelled a couple rumors that have spread rampantly over the past few days throughout the area. Henry’s body has been sent to the Mississippi Crime Lab for an autopsy. The toxicology report has not yet been revealed, and that report will take some time, but rumors of Henry being pregnant are false, according to initial autopsy findings. Johnson also revealed that MBI’s investigation so far, to his knowledge, has not discovered that Henry and Robertson were acquainted.
“We have no reason to believe at all that the individual [Robertson] knew her [Henry] at all. Nothing about the history connects them in any way at all. We’ve spoken to the person that dropped her off that morning at that residence. That’s what I’ve been told,” he said.
Johnson explained further that MBI investigators have talked to a man who gave an eye-witness account of the victim’s actions just before the incident occurred. The eyewitness recounted that he drove Henry from Bok Homa Casino in Jones County back to Jasper County and that an argument had occurred in the vehicle between them – that argument involved the victim demanding to be let out of the vehicle to excuse herself and to be left alone near the scene where the shooting would take place a short time later.
“He stopped right there [Robertson’s residence] to let her out. It’s not that she wandered up there. That’s just where they were when she told him to let her out of the car and to leave her,” the sheriff noted of the witness account.
“I may be telling y’all things that MBI doesn’t want out there, but I’m sorry . . . the family and the people of this county need to know. But, they’ve got to understand that things like this take time.”
On the morning of the shooting, Henry allegedly made her way to Robertson’s residence and banged on a door, according to Johnson. She soon after occupied and drove away with Robertson’s wife’s vehicle, going approximately 30 to 40 yards before turning into another driveway off Highway 528. She stopped there. Robertson, while his wife was on the telephone with 911, followed in pursuit to where the shooting occurred. It is alleged that Henry tried to strike Robertson with the car, at which time he fired two warning shots and then fired into the car several times, incapacitating Henry, while he dove into a nearby ditch.
“I want to do whatever I have to do to come to the right and correct decision on this. This family [of the victim] is suffering dearly, and I truly feel for them. I want to try and answer questions for them, and I’ll gladly talk to them,” Johnson explained. “I’ll try do anything I can to get this moved along, but right now MBI is working this, and they are doing a good job with it. And, I have no reason to doubt whatever they come up with will be presented to the grand jury.”
Johnson said a full autopsy result, including toxicology reports on the victim, could take up to several months.
Heath Walley is the editor of the Jasper County News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.