The co-owner* of a gas station shut down Tuesday for being a nuisance was implicated by a homeless man as his killer, police records show.
Clay Quarles, 51, received burns over an estimated 70 percent of his body in an incident at the Fast Fill convenience store and gas station at U.S. 80 and Gallatin Street on Feb. 28, 2012. He died March 12, 2012. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart said the burns were the cause of death.
Police reports, family members, and other witnesses said Quarles told them Desmond Brown, now the outspoken part-owner of the Express Fuel Food Mart at the corner of Bailey Avenue and Northside Drive, had taken a shovel full of hot coals from a smoker and dumped it into his lap.
Court records show that Brown was no-billed, which means a grand jury did not indict him, in Quarles' death, but the charge he was brought up on is unclear. It simply reads, "questionable death." Neither the Jackson Police Department nor the Hinds County District Attorney's office had any immediate information on how the case was presented or what the actual charge brought against Brown was. There is no arrest on his record related to Quarles' death.
District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said he thought the "questionable death" notation in the court record may have implied that there was something incomplete about the case, but he said Wednesday he would check into the case to try to pin down the exact chronology of the case up to the time it went to grand jury.
Jackson Police Department spokeswoman Colendula Green was also checking into the case to see if investigators were in on the presentation to grand jury and what happened from the police side.... Article
Kingfish note: Here is a question to ponder. The owners of the gas station on 905 West Northside Drive said they evicted Chirag Khowabunga last week as he allegedly owed $27,000 in rent. Tax records show that River Hills Bank owns the property. Put that aside and assume the Singh's own it. What were they charging Chirag for monthly rent? How many landlords would let the rent go unpaid for several months before they tried to evict the tenant? The landlords didn't move to evict until after the shooting of the police officer last week and then JPD started operating checkpoints by the store.
Perhaps the Singhs should show some bank statements that reveal how much Chirag was paying each month to rent the store.... or if he was ever paying at all. One question that should be asked is what exactly was the financial arrangement (and proof of it) between Chirag and the landlords. In other words, the question should be asked if this is a sham debt. Something to ponder.