Police Broke the Law Now a Young Boy is Dead
(Farmington, MS) Andrew Loyd would be finishing up the sixth grade, getting ready for baseball season, or his band`s spring concert, but instead the happy little boy who loved Batman is at a cemetery in Alcorn County, Mississippi.
This grave sits just a few miles from where Andrew’s father killed him before turning the gun on himself.
That’s something family members like Josh Burres have a tough time dealing with.
“He didn`t deserve that. He didn`t deserve that at all. He had his whole life ahead of him,” said Burres.
Andrew’s death could have been prevented.
The murder suicide happened months after Andrew`s father Billy had a standoff with Farmington Police at this apartment.
Police Chief Anthony Holmes tells News Channel 3 Andrew was in the apartment as police pointed guns at his father.
According to Mississippi State law Chief Holmes is require to report the standoff to the Department of Human Services because Andrew was put in a possibly deadly situation by his father which is a case of child neglect.
Holmes didn`t want to do an on camera interview, but told News Channel 3 he never turned the incident over to DHS even though he’s required to by law.
The chief said he assumed family members would.
“Could I have? Yes. Should I have? Yes, but I knew it was getting done,” said Holmes.
News Channel 3 went to Alcorn County`s DHS office to demand answers, and find out if officers investigated any claims of neglect.
“We`re not allowed to because of the confidential nature of what you want to ask,” said Terry Phillips.
DHS decided not to talk after agreeing to an interview.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services refuses to say if they ever looked into Billy Loyd after the summer standoff.
This is a different policy from neighboring Tennessee where the state will confirm or deny if they ever looked into child neglect allegations.
This is the same lack of accountability some people say cost Andrew his life in the first place.
After staying a few days with family Andrew was returned to his father when he was allowed to walk out of the Magnolia Regional mental health ward.
Andrew’s cousin says they thought he had to go back home.
“We didn`t give him back to him. We didn`t have a choice the law made us,” said Burres.
“Could it have been prevented? Certainly had the child been removed from the home,” said Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.
Hood says Farmington`s police chief is trained to turn suspicions of child neglect over to the state.
“It could have been the officer was unaware of this reporting requirement to DHS, or they didn`t interpret that to be putting the child in harm`s way,” said Hood.
He says the law allows officers to use their own judgment to determine if a child is in a dangerous situation, but in this case he thinks officers used bad judgment.
“Most people would say that that puts a child in harm`s way if the child is in close enough proximity to be shot if police open fire,” said Hood.
The Alcorn District Attorney’s Office, who would prosecute Chief Holmes for breaking the law, says they have never received an investigation, and it`s up to Holmes to investigate himself for breaking the law.
At this point no Mississippi law enforcement officials have agreed to investigate the claims.
News Channel 3 will continue to push for answers for Andrew.