Three Jasper County men plea guilty to 2018 murder of Mendenhall teen

Three Jasper County men today pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court in Bay Springs to charges in the 2018 shooting death of a Mendenhall teen­ager.

Mercedes Angelique Dudley, 18, was tragically killed after shots were fired into the Nissan car she was driving on March 24, 2018, east of Heidelberg near the Beaver Meadow Community. Two others, at the time, 18-year-old Rosalind Tykiara Taylor of Magee and 19-year-old Diyquavious Kardall Ellis of Laurel, were also passengers in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.

Tarvis Kentrell Bunch, 27, pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of Dudley. He was sentenced by Mississippi Thirteenth District Circuit Judge Stanley Sorey to 33 years under the control of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with 23 of those years to serve incarcerated.  Additionally, he was sentenced to 10 years consecutive for the aggravated assault of Rosalind Taylor. 

Quaddarrius Marqun Sumling, 27, also pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of Dudley. He was sentenced by Judge Sorey to serve 30 years under the control of MDOC, with 20 of those years to serve incarcerated.  Sumling also pleaded guilty in the aggravated assault of Taylor and was sentenced to an additional 10 years consecutive on that count.

Jeremy Oshea McKenzie, 32, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He was sentenced by Judge Sorey to serve 15 years in the custody of MDOC, with 10 of those years to serve incarcerated for manslaughter.

District Attorney Matt Sullivan today described the death of Dudley as a 'senseless crime' that led to an extensive investigation. 

“The investigation into this crime was extensive, and it eventually ruled out elements that were initially suspected but unknown.  One element was that Mercedes Dudley was pregnant, but her autopsy proved she was not.  There is also continued suspicion that this crime was related to gang activity, but the admissible evidence did not legally support indictments for gang activity,” he explained.

Sullivan went on to say, “This was a senseless crime that resulted in the death of a beautiful young woman and serious injury to another.  There are no words that accurately articulate the impact of a tragedy such as this one.  I can say that I am very proud of the efforts of the investigators with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and my staff, most notably Investigator Daniel Gilmore and Assistant District Attorney Chris Hennis.  Everyone involved in the prosecution did their job, and justice was ultimately served.”

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