Weather delays court appearance for capital murder suspect

Tommy Chisholm
By: 
RYAN PHILLIPS
SDN EDITOR

A Kosciusko man accused in the shooting death of a Starkville optometrist will have to wait for his initial appearance in Starkville Municipal Court.

The initial appearance for 41-year-old Tommy Chisholm was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m., but all city offices were closed on Wednesday due to winter weather.

Starkville Police Department Public Information Officer Brandon Lovelady confirmed municipal court would not be held on Wednesday.

“I currently don’t have any information notifying me of a closing (Thursday),” Lovelady said. “That decision will be made by city leaders and we will forward it to the public.”

No makeup date has been set for Wednesday’s municipal court schedule at the time of this article’s publication.

Chisholm was originally scheduled to appear in municipal court on Sunday - the day after the shooting death of 42-year-old Shauna Witt at Walmart on Highway 12 - but that appearance was cancelled in favor of a bond hearing being held behind closed doors in the Oktibbeha County Jail.

Chisholm is currently being held without bond and has been charged with capital murder.

Investigators on Saturday responded to a shots fired call at the Walmart Supercenter on Highway 12. Once Starkville Police officers arrived on scene, they encountered Chisholm, who was armed with a handgun. After a brief struggle, Chisholm was detained and taken into custody.

Witnesses and investigators alike claim Chisholm followed his “on-again, off-again” girlfriend - Witt - into the store, where her optometry practice was located.

Witt was shot twice and pronounced dead at OCH Regional Medical Center shortly after 10 a.m.

SPD previously said the shooting was isolated and domestic in nature.

While no confirmation has been given regarding Chisholm’s mental state, numerous media reports claim Chisholm barricaded himself in his Gluckstadt home in Madison County in 2012. During the incident - which lasted several hours - Chisholm threatened to hurt himself and others.

He was eventually taken to a hospital for evaluation concerning his mental health and it is unclear if any charges were filed against him.

At the time of the shooting on Saturday, Chisholm was out on a felony bond for an incident that occurred involving Witt in Kosciusko.

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