Police make second arrest in connection with murdered family - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Cedric Mason charged with capital murder; denied bond

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Cedrick Mason (Source: MDOC) Cedrick Mason (Source: MDOC)
Timothy Burns Timothy Burns
Atira Smith, Jaidon Hill and Laterry Smith Atira Smith, Jaidon Hill and Laterry Smith
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Cedric Mason, the second man arrested in connection with the murders of Atira Smith, Jaidon Hill and Laterry Smith, has been denied bond in Copiah County Justice Court. Mason is charged with capital murder.

Mason was arrested by the Mississippi Highway Patrol SWAT team around 9:30 Wednesday night. He was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center. 

Department of Public Safety Spokesman Warren Strain wouldn't comment on the connection between Mason and Timothy Burns, who is also charged with the murders.

"As far as how long they've known each other or the relationship between the two suspects, it would be hard to say at this point," said Strain. "Were still working through the interviews with each of them."

Mason was on parole from the Mississippi Department of Corrections on a marijuana possession charge.

Timothy Burns, the first person arrested in this case, is also being held without bond.  He is charged with arson and two counts of murder.

Both men are accused of killing Atira Smith, Jaidon Hill and Laterry Smith.  Their bodies were found in an abandoned house in Copiah County.

A preliminary investigation indicates Laterry Smith was murdered in a house in the 1000 block of McDowell Road, in Jackson. So district attorneys from both Hinds and Copiah County will work together on the prosecutions.

The motive behind the murders remains unclear, but neighbors answered the question of how Timothy Burns was tied to the victims.

Investigators say Laterry Smith was killed in Jackson, likely at this home at 1007 McDowell road, where he lived with his wife. 

We talked to neighbors who say, that Burns also lived in the home, and he had been there for about a month. They say he had parked his van in an awkward position Friday, and that they heard gunshots, the day the family disappeared.

Cedric Mason's family denies his involvement, and said he had an alibi for last Friday night.

"He is innocent; he did not do this," said family friend Julissa Walker. "he has kids, he loves kids. If you could see him out in this yard he loves to play with children, don't harm them at all."

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