Biloxi woman charged in witness tampering case

A woman accused of trying to avoid a police investigation and receiving payment for it has been arrested by Biloxi Police.

Janay Brunetta Ward, 21, of Biloxi was arrested Sunday on a warrant charging her with receiving a bribe and bribing a witness.

According to Sgt. Tom Lamb, an investigation began March 19 when Ward tried to avoid being called as a witness at an official proceeding. Lamb said the investigation showed Ward and others allegedly conspired for Ward to receive payment for not showing up and she helped transfer money to another witness with an agreement that the second witness also would not show for an official proceeding.

Velma Jean Cox-Rankin, 45, and Darrell Jean Rankin Jr., 20, both of Biloxi, previously were arrested and charged with two counts of bribing a witness in relation to the same investigation.

Cameron Malik Dajon Payton, 18, previously was arrested and charged with receiving a bribe in the same investigation.

Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain initially set Ward’s bond at $10,000 per charge at the issuance of the warrants.  Ward was taken the Harrison County jail.

The Biloxi Police Department requests that anyone with information regarding this incident or any other incidents contact the Biloxi Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at (228) 435-6112, Biloxi Police Department Dispatch at (228) 392-0641, the Biloxi Police Criminal Intelligence Unit at ciu@biloxi.ms.us, Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at (877) 787-5898, or submit a tip via the web at mscoastcrimestoppers.com.  All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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