Bail denied for Mississippi man charged with murdering 21-year-old pregnant woman

The accusations against Terrence Sample in the homicide case of Makayla Winston has caused judges to recuse themselves

Terrence Sample
Terrence K. Sample (Holmes County, MS Sheriffs Department)

A Mississippi man, who is the son of a judge, was denied bail on charges that he murdered a young woman and her unborn child.

The Holmes County district attorney said a special appointed judge had to be called in because two justice court judges in the county know the suspect, Terrence K. Sample’s mother, who works as a judge in neighboring Attala County, reported the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. The two judges recused themselves.

Sample, 33, is charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping in the killing of 21-year-old Makayla Winston, whose body was found Monday on a deserted road in the county a few days after her family first reported her missing. She was nine months pregnant, and Mississippi is one of 38 states with a fetal homicide law in place that allows murder charges to be levied against suspects for the death of an unborn child.

READ MORE: D.A. makes decision on Alabama woman charged with manslaughter when she lost baby after being shot

Police believe Winston was Sample’s girlfriend, but he reportedly denies this, and also denies having any connection with Winston. Holmes County Sheriff Willie March said police are questioning another woman, from Attala County, who is also believed to have been in a romantic relationship with Sample. This second woman has not been identified.

According to Holmes County District Attorney Akille Malone-Oliver, one of Sample’s relatives found Winston’s body near his property. Her body was found on State Park Road. Winston’s family told police that she was last seen Thursday night. She told family members that she was going to show the baby’s sonogram to the father but that she never returned. Her due date was Thursday.

In a bail hearing this week, Yazoo County Justice Court Judge Bennie Warrington denied bond for Sample. The next court appearance will likely be for a preliminary hearing, something Sample’s attorney, Richard Carter would have to request, Oliver said.

Sample is being held at the Holmes-Humphreys County Regional Correctional Facility.

March told reporters on Tuesday that he expects that a charge of capital murder will be added against Sample.