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Charges Upgraded to Murder in Assault of 96-Year Old Woman

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HUNTINGDON (May 7, 2018) James P. Hill, 36, New Johnsonville and Dakota D. Baggett, 26, Nashville, are facing first-degree murder charges for assaulting 96-year-old Dalphy H. Ross and holding Janet Lynn Ross and Myron Butler against their will at knife-point inside the victim’s home located on McKee Levee Road near Buena Vista on June 26, 2017.

A grand jury charged the two with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder on May 7, 2018. Mrs. Dalphy Mae Ross, 97, of Buena Vista, Tennessee died Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.

In July 2017, Carroll County General Sessions Larry Logan presided over the preliminary hearings of the two men. Court-appointed attorneys Seth Segraves and Ben Dempsey represented the two men while Jim Webb and Carthel Smith served as prosecutors for the state of Tennessee.

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Three witnesses took the stand: Carroll County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Adam Meggs; Myron Butler, and Janet Ross.

According to arrest warrants obtained via Carroll County Sessions Court (CCGS) filed by Carroll County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Adam Meggs; In addition, warrants were entered in CCGS against Hill for especially aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, theft of property (less than $1,000) and aggravated burglary. Arrest warrants were filed by Investigator Meggs for co-defendant Dakota D. Baggett, charging him with criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and theft.

Hill was arrested Monday morning, June 26, 2017 at Terrace Woods Lodge in Paris after Paris Police were alerted by a concerned citizen stating they spotted Hill inside a vehicle in the motel’s parking lot. Hill identified himself at the time as John Smith. Police later located Hill’s state-issued identification to verify his identity.

The report further noted that two hypodermic needles were found on Hill’s person during a pat down.

A passenger inside the vehicle with Hill was arrested on one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Paris police also arrested three Camden women staying at the motel. Samantha Hollowell, Britany Corbitt and Jennifer Hisey were charged with accessory after the fact of a felony for helping Hill evade capture.

According to a report filed by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Scotty Davis, after Hill and Baggett forced entry into Mrs. Ross’ home, Hill repeatedly struck Mrs. Ross with a small ball bat and lacerated her arm with a knife before binding her with tape and placing her in a back room inside the residence. The report stated that Baggett later held Janet Ross and Butler at knife-point when they returned to the home after running errands.

Hill and Baggett were persuaded by Butler to take Janet Ross’ late-model Toyota Camry and fled the scene.

Mrs. Dalphy Ross was later discovered by her daughter bound and bleeding in a back room inside the residence prior to being transported by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon.

After a BOLO was released for Ross’ vehicle, Humphrey County Sheriff’s Department received a call of a home invasion in New Johnsonville on June 20. Later that day, the Ford Explorer matching the BOLO description parked in the driveway at the Humphrey County home invasion was spotted by Camden Policeman Kenneth Beal.

Hill’s suspected accomplice, Dakota Baggett, 25, 204 Richland Avenue, Waverly, was apprehended by Camden police on June 20 at a gas station near Walmart in Camden. Fleeing the scene, Hill ran to a nearby Dollar Tree where he changed clothes and escaped apprehension before being arrested in Paris on June 26.

Hill and Baggett were also wanted by authorities in Benton, Henry and Humphreys counties for similar home-invasion and theft of property offenses.

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