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Rienzi man charged in trooper killing



A Rienzi man has been charged with capital murder and attempted murder in a shooting that resulted in the death of an off-duty state trooper.

Tippah County Prosecutor Bart Adams said the charges were filed Monday by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation against 43-year-old Troy Anthony Eaton of Rienzi.

The shooting resulted in the death of 32-year-old Mississippi Highway Patrol F-29 Trooper Kenneth "Josh" Smith of Walnut.

Rickie Dale Vick, a 38-year-old Michigan City resident, was also shot but is recovering.

Adams said Eaton will appear in Benton County Circuit Court in Ashland, where prosecutors will ask a judge to deny bail.

Smith, a Alcorn County resident, died from gunshot wounds suffered during an altercation early Sunday morning in Hatchie Bottom, an area in the extreme western portion of Alcorn County near the Tippah County line.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol called the killing senseless.

"Our hearts are deeply saddened and disturbed about the loss of one of our brothers. Trooper Kenneth "Josh" Smith, F-29, was senselessly killed while off duty ... Please pray for his family and our agency as we grieve his death and we try to find peace and closure in his passing," according to a MHP statement. "This is going to be a very hard week for so many families and officers across our state, please remember them all. 'For this we will honor.'"

Visitation is Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. and funeral services are Thursday at 2 p.m. Both visitation and the service will be open to the public and held at the Crossroads Arena.

Smith was mortally wounded and pronounced dead on the scene around 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Vick was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

A massive manhunt involving multiple agencies lasted most of Sunday morning before Eaton surrendered to authorities around 5:30 a.m.

(Editor Mark Boehler and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)