Police: Man charged in motel homicides 'should have been taken off the street'

A Jackson Police Department vehicle is shown in this 2019 photo.

A Jackson man charged with murder in a double homicide at a Jackson motel Sunday has been wanted for months by authorities for illegally possessing two guns, according to court records.

Jermaine Donnel White, 38, is accused in the shooting deaths of two women in a room at the Rainbow Motel at 4770 Medgar Evers Blvd., said Jackson police Public Information Officer Sam Brown.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart identified the women Wednesday as 21-year-old Kiera Poole and 22-year-old Samantha Cannon.

Past convictions and open cases

Hinds County court records show White was convicted and sentenced in 2004 to 13 years total in a Mississippi corrections facility for burglary and sale of marijuana. He was convicted of burglary again in 2011, Jackson Deputy Chief Deric Hearn said. It is unclear how much time he served for the convictions.

In October 2021, a Hinds County Circuit Court judge issued a warrant for White's arrest on a charge of possessing two firearms as a convicted felon.

Court records do not indicate whether the warrant was ever served. The Hinds County Sheriff's Office was tasked with taking White into custody, according to court records.

Hearn said he is aware of the weapons charge against White but did not elaborate, instead referring comment to the Hinds County Sheriff's Office.

Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones was provided with a copy of the warrant Monday by The Clarion-Ledger. He did not respond to a request for comment.

Hearn said White was also involved in a December 2018 armed robbery of a grocery store on Highway 80. That case was sent to the Hinds County District Attorney's Office in 2019 and is still awaiting a grand jury decision to indict or not, Hearn said. At the time of his arrest, White was in pretrial detainment for other alleged robberies, court records state.

"That right there is a red flag if he committed another felony," Hearn said. "He should have been indicted and he should have been taken off the street."

In April 2021, the Hinds County District Attorney's Office filed a motion to decline to prosecute White for a different December 2018 armed robbery, this one at a restaurant, because there wasn't enough evidence to charge him, according to court records.

At a Monday afternoon press conference, Jackson Police Chief James Davis described the Sunday homicides as "interpersonal." White paid for the hotel room and knew the victims, he said.

White told investigators he and the women used drugs together in the motel room, Hearn said. There is no evidence of prostitution, he said.

Reporter Mina Corpuz can be reached by email at mcorpuz@gannett.com. You can follow her on Twitter @mlcorpuz.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Man charged in Jackson motel murders was wanted on outstanding charge