A former Armstrong Middle School teacher has been indicted for exploitation of a child after texting a student to meet for sexual purposes.
Starkville police, with assistance from the U.S. Marshal Task Force, arrested 38-year-old Lacey McBeath, of Columbus, in January on felony warrants for enticement of a child to meet for sexual purposes and enticement of a child to produce a visual depiction of sexual conduct.
Grand jurors indicted McBeath for enticement of a child, according to a document filed Thursday in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court.
According to an incident report in McBeath’s circuit court file, a SPD officer responded on Dec. 14 to reports of inappropriate text messages McBeath was sending to a female AMS student. The texting, according to the indictment, occurred between Nov. 1, 2017 and Dec. 19, 2017.
The report says McBeath texted the student about “possibly meeting up in his classroom, his truck, or the field house for sexual relations.”
The report further states that the victim believed McBeath got her phone number by going through her phone while she was charging it in his classroom.
McBeath was an eighth-grade science teacher in his first semester at the school when the incident happened. District officials confirmed after his arrest that he no longer works for the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District.
McBeath is out of jail on a $50,000 bond.
Armed robbery plea
Kenyon Montrell Higgins, 22, pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and armed robbery.
According to court documents, Higgins hit his victim, Jafforest Hendrix, in the head with a shotgun while robbing him on July 25, 2017. Higgins reportedly took a purse and a cell phone.
Hendrix initially pleaded not guilty to the charges on Jan. 26, but entered a guilty plea last week.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison with five suspended, three to serve. Hendrix was also sentenced to a $750 fine and five years of post-release supervision.
Alex Holloway was formerly a reporter with The Dispatch.
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