Murder suspect awaiting trial earns new drug charges - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Murder suspect awaiting trial earns new drug charges

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Sara Jones Sara Jones
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A man awaiting trial for murder is in trouble again after police say they found drugs in his home just days after he was supposed to go to trial.

James Whitten Jr. is in jail without bond on several drug charges, but the story does get more interesting.

To give you some background, Whitten Jr. is charged with murder in the 2011 death of Sara Jones.

Investigators believe Whitten hit and killed Jones as she rode her bicycle. He was supposed to have his trial heard in circuit court in February, but it was delayed until May so his defense could review the state's evidence.

Whitten was out on bond.

The district attorney says Southaven police served a search warrant for a missing person at Whitten's house Wednesday.

They located the woman safe and she said she was not being held against her will.

Also Wednesday, the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department served a separate warrant on Whitten Jr. That is when they found evidence that led to the drug charges.

Whitten is charged with possession of meth, heroin, alprazolam, morphine, and marijuana. He is also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon, in this case, metallic knuckles.

Whitten has a long rap sheet in Shelby County including, assault with the intent to commit murder, drug trafficking, and statutory rape.

Steve Farese, who is representing Whitten in the murder trial, did not respond to Action News 5's requests for comment.

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