JENNIFER YORK CONVICTED OF MANSLAUGHTER & CHILD NEGLECT

District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today that a Washington County Jury returned Guilty verdicts on six (6) criminal charges against Jennifer York on the evening of Wednesday, August 4, 2021.  The trial, which began on Monday, August 2, was tried in the Circuit Court of Washington County and presided over by Judge Margaret Carey-McCray.  Sentencing in the case has been continued pending a pre-sentence investigation ordered by the Court. 

The charges against York included two (2) counts of Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence and four (4) counts of Child Neglect stemming from a house fire which occurred on December 28, 2016 at 1421 East Ollie Circle in Greenville.

At trial, testimony revealed that around midnight on December 28, 2016, Jennifer York left her six (6) children at her residence on Ollie Circle alone, while the residence did not have electricity, and over twenty (20) candles were lit throughout the home for light.  The children, ranging in ages from one (1) to fourteen (14), awoke to the house engulfed in flames and Jennifer York nowhere to be found.

Four of the children, ages fourteen (14), twelve (12), eight (8) and four (4) were able to escape the blaze.  Tragically, a one (1) year old child and a three (3) year old child perished in the fire.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshall’s Office, along with the Greenville Police Department and Greenville Fire Department, arrived on the scene shortly following the outbreak of the fire.  After the blaze was extinguished, investigators discovered the bodies of two (2) young children in a rear bedroom. 

It was revealed at trial that Jennifer York, who was supposedly away from the home at the casino, did not return home until nearly an hour after the fire initially started.  York arrived after fire personnel, law enforcement and the Coroner.  The Jury was also provided with testimony that the power to Jennifer York’s home had been cut-off since July of 2016, five (5) months prior to the deadly fire.

The case against York was tried by Assistant District Attorneys M. Austin Frye and Takiyah H. Perkins.  Mr. Frye and Ms. Perkins expressed their gratitude towards the members of the Jury who decided the difficult case, along with the Greenville Police Department, Greenville Fire Department, and State Fire Marshall’s Office who were exceptionally diligent in their investigation of the incident.  Frye stated: “[i]t’s beyond tragic that it takes the loss of two young, innocent lives for a mother to realize that there are duties, both legally and morally, that you are bound by when you bring children into this world . . . I’m beyond thankful that the Jury carefully considered the evidence in this case and returned a verdict that provides at least some justice to the memory of the infant and toddler who perished on that tragic night.”

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resources

Attorney General

www.ago.state.ms.us

MDOC

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Federal Prisoners

www.bop.gov

Sex Offender Registry

state.sor.dps.ms.gov

AG Victim Unit

www.ago.state.ms.us

Our Mission

The mission of the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court, under the direction of
W. Dewayne Richardson, is to seek justice in order to maintain an environment of safety, security and lawful behavior for the citizens of the Fourth District.

The Office of the District Attorney uses lawful and reasonable methods to successfully identify and prosecute those who commit felony crimes. When a crime occurs, the Office of the District Attorney diligently pursues the indictment and conviction of those responsible, while adhering to all rights of the Victim, ensuring the victim is being provided all direct services applicable, and acknowledging all constitutional safeguards for the accused.

The District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth
District’s goal is to work with law enforcement and the judiciary to punish those who break our laws with adequate punishment. Every representative of the Office of the District Attorney pledges their commitment and full support to the protection of all citizens within the Fourth Circuit Court District.

Contact

Greenville Office
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
[P] 662.378.2105
[F] 662.332.4665
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Indianola Office
P.O. Box 1046
Indianola, MS 38751
[P] 662.887.4306
[F] 662.887.6275
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Greenwood Office
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
[P] 662.453.1089
[F] 662.451.7291
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Judicial Process

Citizen's Involvement in the criminal justice system typically begins with them being a victim, witness, or defendant of a crime. Arrests are made generally by a judge-issued warrant or by a police officer observing a crime in process. Law enforcement may also arrest someone if it has probable cause to believe the person committed a criminal offense. When individuals are arrested they are routinely advised of their Miranda Rights upon arrest, advising them that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say will be used against them in court. On being questioned, defendants have the right to have their attorney present or to have one appointed if they are indigent.

Felony defendants appear at a first appearance and have the charges reviewed. A judge will inquire if the defendant has an attorney. If low income, the defendant may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. No plea is entered at this time unless the defendant wishes to plead guilty or waives indictment and has an attorney present. All felony cases are presented to a grand jury in the county that the crime was committed. In the State of Mississippi, only a grand jury has the authority to indict an individual for a felony offense and require them to stand trial for the charges alleged in an affidavit and indictment.

If an indictment is issued, the defendant is bound over to stand trial or enter a guilty plea to the crimes alleged. When a criminal trial occurs all 12 jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sentences are decided by Circuit Court Judges in all criminal matters. In most cases a recommendation is made regarding imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution.

Municipalities


• City of Greenville


• City of Hollandale

• City of Leland
• City of Metcalfe

• Washington County

• City of Indianola
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