Pascagoula man gets life after pleading guilty to capital murder of Dustin Suttles

A Pascagoula man charged in the 2020 death of Dustin Suttles will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Joseph Paul McLeod, 33, entered a guilty plea to capital murder before Circuit Judge Dale Harkey on Tuesday. He was sentenced to life without parole.

According to District Attorney Angel Myers McIlrath, McLeod lured Suttles to Jackson County, assaulted and ultimately killed him, dumping Suttles off Roy Cumbest bridge and into the Pascagoula River in Vancleave. Suttles’ body was discovered on Sept. 22, 2020 and identified the following day.

McIlrath said during the investigation, it was determined that McLeod was a high-ranking member of the Simon City Royals.

“While this guilty plea and life without parole sentence cannot bring their son back and fill the void his loss has caused, I hope that the victim’s family feels some semblance of justice served today,” McIlrath said. “This is the first step in getting justice for this family.

“I commend the work of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, who worked quickly to investigate this case and apprehend the individuals involved.”

McLeod is one of four men charged in the homicide of 29-year old Suttles.

The other three men, Zachary Cooper, 27, of Moss Point, Jason Lee Miller, 36, of Lucedale, and Taylor Allan Carpenter, 23, of Escatawpa, initially were charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder. Their charges were upgraded on Oct. 13, 2020.

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