Justin Robert Coggins charged with the murder of Dustin Hoffpauir

Justin Robert Coggins appears in a mug shot

Hours after graduating from high school, a Mississippi teenager was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of his mother’s fiancé.

Justin Robert Coggins18, is charged with murder.

According to the Lowndes County Sheriff, the incident happened sometime on Saturday, May 21, 2022. Coggins had just graduated from Caledonia High School that same morning.

Sheriff of Lowndes Eddie Hawkins Columbus, Mississippi, told CBS affiliate WCBI that the shooting occurred during a domestic dispute.

According to Tupelo, miss. NBC affiliate WTVA, deputies arrived at the residence on Richard’s Lane in Caledonia, Miss., about 15 miles north-northwest of Columbus, after the county’s 911 reporter received a call about “an interference” around 7 p.m. where a motive was shot.”

The authorities found the 33-year-old there Dustin Hoffpauir died from a gunshot wound. The identity of the deceased has been confirmed by the Lowndes County Coroner Gregory Kaufman. An autopsy of the victim is to be carried out by the public prosecutor.

Details about the deadly violence are currently scarce. The exact contours of this alleged domestic dispute have not been made public at this time. Likewise, prosecuting authorities have not ventured any motive for the defendant beyond allegations of domestic dispute.

The sheriff later elaborated in comments The shippingto say that investigators believe the dispute was related to domestic violence.

“We don’t know exactly what happened,” Hawkins told the newspaper Monday morning. It was unclear whether the shots could have been self-defense. “No one is speaking to us at the moment, neither the mother nor the suspect. They have both asked for a lawyer and we are awaiting the arrival of the lawyer this morning.”

According to Gulfport, miss. Fox/NBC/CW affiliate WXXV, the victim became engaged to the defendant’s mother in November 2021.

Hoffpauir resided in Columbus and was originally from Hancock, Miss. He owned and started an HVAC company called Stella Air, LLC.

According to the Sun HeraldFacebook photos show Hoffpauir at Coggins’ graduation “wearing his cap and dress.”

The newspaper noted that numerous tributes to the slain man, known to his friends as “Dusty,” have since been posted on social media.

“I love you, little brother”, the brother of the deceased, Ryan Ladenshe wrote in one such post.

Others remembered Hoffpauir as a baseball player.

“For some, life is too short,” wrote a friend on Facebook. “I was literally talking yesterday about what a tough hitter and ball player you were man! Rest in peace, Dustin Hoffpauir.”

One of his teachers also remembered him fondly:

When you teach and coach for as many years as I have, you lose students for a variety of reasons. It’s my own fault, but I was one of those “caring” teachers. I looked after my students 24 hours a day when I had to… one of “my” students… “my children” was murdered when he was only 33 years old. It hurts me every time I lose someone, but this one hits me hard. Please pray for the family of Dustin Hoffpauir. I love you man! I’ll see you again one day at the reunion!!! Go Rock!!!

“Such an amazing person gone way too soon,” wrote another friend. “My heart aches for the family and my thoughts immediately go to old memories.”

Coggins is currently being held in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center. The defendant’s first court appearance was on Monday, May 23, 2022. His bail was set at $250,000, WCBI reports.

The case is still under investigation.

[Image via Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office]

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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/nobody-is-talking-to-us-mississippi-authorities-search-for-answers-after-18-year-old-allegedly-murders-moms-fiance-just-hours-after-graduating-from-high-school/ Justin Robert Coggins charged with the murder of Dustin Hoffpauir

Olly Dawes

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