Mississippi trooper killed while working 2nd job as postal carrier, 3 arrested for murder

Mississippi trooper killed while working 2nd job as postal carrier, 3 arrested for murder
Lt. Troy Morris, 58, of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, was gunned down early Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, as he worked his second job as a contract mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. Three men have been charged with his murder. (Scott Olson/Getty Images, Mississippi Highway Patrol via AP)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Miss. — Two men and a teen were arrested and charged over the weekend in the killing of an off-duty Mississippi state trooper who was gunned down early Friday as he worked his second job as a U.S. postal carrier, authorities said.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Lt. Troy Morris, 58, of Natchez, was found dead inside his delivery truck around 4:30 a.m. Friday on U.S. 61 in Jefferson County, near the Adams County line. Adams County Coroner James Lee told the Natchez Democrat that Morris, a 27-year veteran trooper, worked part-time for the Postal Service.  

“It appears that he was changing a flat tire on U.S. 61 leaving Fayette,” Lee told the newspaper. “I arrived at the scene around 8:45 a.m. after being notified by the Jefferson County coroner, who is on medical leave.”

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According to WLBT in Jackson, Morris had radioed for assistance with the flat tire. By the time help arrived, he had been killed.

The longtime trooper was a year away from his retirement, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann wrote on Facebook.

“We suffer from the senseless killing of Lt. Troy Morris,” Hosemann wrote. “A loyal and effective highway patrolman one year from retirement and working a second job. We pray for him and his family, and for expedited justice.”

“This is a sad day for law enforcement, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the State of Mississippi,” Mississippi public safety Commissioner Sean Tindell said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Lt. Troy Morris. Local, state and federal agents will work tirelessly to ensure justice.”

We suffer from the senseless killing of Lieutenant Troy Morris. A loyal and effective highway patrolman one year from...

Posted by Delbert Hosemann on Saturday, August 8, 2020

Col. Randy Ginn, director of the highway patrol, said everyone at the agency was “deeply saddened” by Morris’ death.

“He was a good man, friend and a valuable member of this agency,” Ginn said. “He will truly be missed by the Mississippi Highway Patrol.”

Gov. Tate Reeves called Morris’ death a “somber reminder to pray for all of our law enforcement heroes,” and especially Morris’ family.

Morris had worked as an independent contractor for the U.S. Postal Service for 16 years, authorities said.  

“Troy Morris was acting as a highway contractor transporting U.S. mail and was killed during the official acts of his duties, which brings him into federal jurisdiction,” Postal Inspector Tony Robinson said, according to the news station.

Lee told the Democrat that the scene Friday morning was a grim one. The coroner said Morris’ fellow troopers were heartbroken.

“Troopers from around this state were vehemently searching for clues and leads to direct them to a possible suspect,” Lee told the newspaper. “The state crime lab sent a team of forensic experts to work the crime scene.”

The postal service, in conjunction with Mississippi Crime Stoppers, offered a $105,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for Morris’ death. Authorities on Saturday announced three arrests in the case.

Treyon Washington, 24, was arrested in Jefferson County and charged with murder, according to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Two more people, Cdarrius Norman, 17, and Damion Whittley, 25, were arrested in New Orleans, where they were awaiting extradition to Mississippi.

Details of what led to the men’s arrests were not made public as of Monday morning.

Damion Whittley
Damion Whittley (Orleans Parish Jail)

Gulfport police officials told WLOX in Biloxi that Whittley is also a suspect in a 2019 homicide there. He is expected to be charged with murder and robbery in the May 8, 2019, shooting death of Delfred Lewis Jr., 20, of Bay St. Louis.

A second man, Tony Alexander Williams, 29, was arrested last summer in connection with Lewis’ death, according to the news station.