Nabors, Demetrius.jpeg

Demetrius Nabors

Heidelberg man charged with assaulting deputy arrested again for DUI with child in vehicle

A Heidelberg man who was ordered to remain in jail after being accused of assaulting a deputy was allowed to bond out but was back behind bars again this month. 

Demetrius Nabors, 27, was arrested for driving while intoxicated with a young child in the car just before midnight on June 30. At a “safety checkpoint” at 13th Avenue and Jefferson Street, a Laurel police officer smelled marijuana and saw an open bottle of Cognac beside the child’s car seat in the back of his vehicle, according to the incident report. He was charged with DUI-other, child endangerment, possession of marijuana-vehicle and open container — all misdemeanors — then booked into the Jones County Adult Detention Center. He was released on July 2, according to jail records. 

Nabors was arrested in September after he was accused of slamming a Buick into Deputy Derick Knight during a traffic stop on Sharon-Sandersville Road late one night. Knight smelled marijuana, according to the incident report, and when the deputy asked Nabors to step out of the vehicle, Nabors refused and closed the car door. When Knight reached into the vehicle, Nabors put the car in reverse and “dragged” the deputy and “slammed him” into the patrol unit. Knight sustained “injuries to his upper body.” There were reports that he may have suffered a cracked vertebra. 

After learning Nabors’ criminal history, then-Judge Noel Rogers denied bond for him. Nabors was also facing misdemeanor charges 

 

 for DUI-first offense and careless driving through the Jones County District Attorney’s Office, Rogers said. 

Nabors was wanted by the Jones County Sheriff’s Department after the incident involving Knight and the suspect turned himself in at the jail a few days after the incident. Nabors was represented pro bono by attorney Charles Lawrence III of Hattiesburg. 

Lawrence requested and received a bond review for Nabors in Jones County Circuit Court, where his bond was set at $75,000. He posted that and was released. 

As Nabors was making his initial appearance in Jones County Justice Court, a reporter asked him if the incident took place the way it was described by law enforcement. He said, “No,” but when asked how his account differed, he said, “I can’t disclose that.” 

Several people took to Facebook offering to help Nabors — some of them from the Chicago area — after the JCSD released a statement asking for the public’s help locating him. Many blamed the officer and offered detailed descriptions of what took place on the desolate roadway that night. The report set off a spirited debate on social media between people who were pro-police and others who were anti-law enforcement. Berlin said there is video of the incident to show what happened. 

Nabors had “several arrests” since 2008, including for resisting arrest, according to testimony by Sgt. J.D. Carter of the JCSD. The suspect is from Illinois and has felony drug charges and a charge for possession of a weapon by a felon on his record there before transferring his probation to Jasper County. 

The case was turned over to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation shortly after Nabors was arrested. Knight reportedly fired a shot that hit the suspect’s car but didn’t hit its intended target. The Buick was found wrecked in a slough about a half-mile from the scene of the traffic stop, Sheriff Joe Berlin said at the time. 

“If you assault one of my officers, we’re going to do everything we can to see to it that you get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Berlin said. “It will not be tolerated.”

Mark Thornton is the editor-in-chief at the Laurel Leader-Call. Contact him at editor@leader-call.com.

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