Mississippi mayor may face 100 years on charges

Kenneth Lester

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The mayor of Jonestown, Mississippi is facing 100 years in prison after being arrested Sunday on charges for allegedly embezzling residents’ water bill payments and a city police firearm, Attorney General Jim Hood announced Tuesday.

Kenneth Lester was arrested by the Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department following his indictment by a Coahoma County grand jury on five counts of felony embezzlement, four of those related to allegedly stealing money, Hood’s office said.

The first indictment alleges that Lester, while serving as mayor, took the money residents paid for water bills and water line repairs and used it for himself between July 2017 and August 2018. A separate indictment alleges that Lester accepted a city-owned Glock Model 22.40 caliber handgun from an employee and pawned it for cash while he was the acting mayor of Jonestown.

Lester was booked into the Coahoma County Jail and released on his own recognizance. If convicted, Lester faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines on each count.

Jonestown, population 1,150, is located about an hour and a half south of Memphis.