Man charged in murder of Tunica County woman


Joseph Bland was arrested by authorities Thursday following the shooting death of a woman in Tunica County.

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TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. –A man has been charged in a deadly shooting in Robinsonville, Mississippi, just outside Tunica.

Joseph Bland was charged with murder following the death of 45-year-old Olletta Jones of Newton, Mississippi. Jones was found dead in the middle of Casino Strip Boulevard Thursday morning, a few miles from the casino where she worked.

Investigators won’t give specific details about Jones’ relationship with Bland, but say it all stemmed from some sort of domestic dispute.

The street was shut down for nearly five hours as investigators gathered evidence in the county’s second homicide of the year.

“When I got up this morning, police were all over and they had the road blocked off,” said Jimmie Lee West, who lives nearby.

It happened just after 5 a.m. Thursday, while most of the people on this normally quiet street – just outside Tunica – were still asleep.

“It’s real safe and quiet around here,” West said. “This neighborhood isn’t that big and the only thing that happens is people going back and forth to the casinos.”

West has lived on Casino Strip Boulevard his entire life, and said the low crime rate is one of the reasons he’s stayed so long.

Someone else who lives nearby heard the gunshots and called 911. When investigators got there, they found Jones dead next to a car in the middle of the road.

Another neighbor – who didn’t want to go on camera – says he heard five or six gunshots.

For now, investigators are staying tight-lipped.

“It’s too early in the investigation to determine everything that you’re asking,” said Assistant Chief Deputy Cedric Davis, with the Tunica County Sheriff’s Office. “Later on we probably could answer more questions as to what transpired and how, but right now we’re in the preliminary stage of the investigation.”

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been called in to help the sheriff’s office on this case.

This is the first murder of the year for Tunica County.

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