October 7, 2008
For more information, please contact
Michael Guest at (601) 825-1472
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Jermaine Stevenson pled guilty and received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Sonya Darty.
On June 13, 2007, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department responded to an emergency call regarding a shooting. Upon arriving, law enforcement noticed several individuals standing outside of the house screaming that a woman had been shot. Deputies entered the home and found the victim, Sonya Darty, lying in a pool of blood. Officers, along with medical personnel, attempted to revive the victim, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
At the time of the crime, the house was also occupied by the victim’s sister and five children, two of whom were the victim’s children.
During their investigation, law enforcement officials were able to determine that when Darty’s husband left the house for work, an individual later identified as Stevenson entered the house, shooting and killing the victim with a stolen 9mm semi-automatic pistol. Stevenson then stole the victim’s vehicle.
Officers at the scene were given a description of the defendant and a description of the stolen vehicle. This information was relayed to other officers in the area and a vehicle matching the description of the stolen vehicle was stopped with no license tags. Officers identified Stevenson as the driver and found the stolen firearm that was used in the crime in the vehicle. In addition, they found a spent shell casing in Stevenson’s pocket. Through a photo line-up, an eyewitness was able to identify Stevenson as the one who shot Sonya Darty and stole her vehicle.
During the interview by law enforcement, Stevenson confessed to shooting the victim, and later took officers to the location where he discarded the license plate to Darty’s vehicle.
Guest stated, “Sonya Darty was a loving mother whose life was taken away at the hands of a stranger. Jermaine Stevenson is responsible for leaving children without a mother and a husband without a wife. Justice was served today and Jermaine Stevenson will spend the remainder of his life in prison, but this is only the first step toward healing the broken hearts of Sonya’s family.”
Guest concluded, “The Madison County Sheriff’s Department handled this case with great professionalism. Because of their hard work we have been able to bring closure for the Darty family, and have taken a dangerous individual off the streets of Madison County. I am very proud of the work they continue doing to keep our neighborhoods safe.”