Jackson County murder suspect faces preliminary hearing

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Today in Jackson County, murder suspect James Vanlaningham Jr. had a preliminary hearing for the charge of first degree murder of his girlfriend Amanda Hicks. The judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the case to a Jackson County grand jury and Vanlaningham Jr. would remain jailed until trial.
Hicks’ body was discovered in the woods behind a church just south of the Jackson-George County line last month. Hicks was last seen with Vanlaningham at Santa Maria RV Park in Gautier before their camper mysteriously caught on fire.
Vanlaningham was charged with arson after being apprehended by officers in Alabama where he also received a DUI charge.
Vanlaningham was denied bond.