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Murder suspect extradited to Meridian

By By William F. West / community editor
July 23, 2002
A 34-year-old Louisiana man remained in the Lauderdale County jail today in connection with the October murder of an Atlanta man who was passing through Meridian.
George Ray Lee was arrested in Monroe earlier this month after authorities there learned his name was on the National Criminal Information Center's wanted list, Meridian Police Chief Benny DuBose said.
Lee is one of two Monroe men accused of the Oct. 20, 2001, shooting death of 27-year-old Frederick R. O'Neal.
Dominque Jalvez Jefferson, 26, was indicted in March by a Lauderdale County grand jury. He remains free on $100,000 bond after pleading not guilty to the charge.
Jefferson is scheduled for trial on Aug. 27, with Lauderdale County Circuit Judge Robert Bailey presiding.
DuBose said Lee "is just the second half of the indictment. We just finally got our hands on him." Lee is expected to have a preliminary hearing in court; DuBose expects Lee to stand trial for the murder.
Meridian police have no other suspects in O'Neal's death.
O'Neal was shot on the side of St. Paul Street near North Frontage Road. He was rushed to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
DuBose said authorities in the Monroe area knew the Meridian Police Department was looking for Lee.
And because of a court order against Lee from Lauderdale County, his name was in the National Crime Information Center's computer system.
The Crime Information Center, an arm of the FBI, maintains a computerized index of criminal record history for federal, state and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.
Lee was arrested by a Ouachita Parish sheriff's deputy on July 12. Monroe is the seat of Ouachita Parish and Lee was held at the jail there until Meridian police picked him up.