St. Martin man confesses to fatal hit-and-run accident

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - William Dale Bullock arrived in shackles at the Jackson County Courthouse Tuesday for his initial appearance on a fatal hit and run charge. Investigators say Bullock was driving the van that hit Thuan Ngyuen as she walked along Old Fort Bayou Road in St. Martin on January 13, 2007.

"She had left her house and was walking to her son's house," Sheriff Mike Byrd said.
"It was a difficult case; it went on for several years," Lt. Ken McClenic said.
Investigators said several tips right after the accident lead to dead ends, but they knew they were looking for a van.
"Evidence on the scene that led us to believe that it was van between the year of 1985 and 1992, either a Chevrolet or GMC van," Byrd said.
Byrd said a break came recently when someone called with a new tip.
"She gave us a name and a person to look at. Going and digging through some old records where he had some specific vehicles registered to him at the time."

Investigators say the information about the vehicle finally linked Bullock to the crime. Monday, deputies arrested Bullock at his St. Martin home. When questioned about the crime, Sheriff Byrd said Bullock confessed.

"Hopefully, he will be brought to trial, and we will get a conviction on him."
Investigators said they are pretty confident that speed and alcohol were contributing factors to this accident, but they say after two and a half years it's hard to prove.
"We are giving everything our best shot to pursue the most serious charges," McClenic said.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Byrd told WLOX News the van Bullock drove the night of the accident has been found in Texarkana, Texas. Investigators used the vehicle's ID number to confirm the 1991 GMC van did belong to Bullock. Sheriff Byrd said his department is making arrangements to get the van back to Mississippi.

If convicted, Bullock faces up to five years in prison on the fatal hit and run charge. Bullock also faces unrelated drug charges. Curtis Spiers, the commander of the Jackson County Narcotics' Task Force, said authorities found nine marijuana plants in Bullock's backyard Monday night when he was arrested.

A judge set Bullock's bond at $50,000, and he was released from jail. No trial date has been set.

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