Home invasion suspects indicted

1 / 1 Dequan Dewayne 'Big Poppa' Upchurch, 42, (left) and his son, 22-year-old Hakeem Upchurch
Staff Writer

A father and son are indicted for the November armed robbery, home invasion and kidnapping of a Clay County family.

Dequan Dewayne 'Big Poppa' Upchurch, 42, and his son, 22-year-old Hakeem Upchurch, were arraigned Monday in Clay County Circuit Court on charges of armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary and kidnapping.

The younger Upchurch also faces an eighth charge of felon in possession of a weapon for having a handgun during the alleged robbery when he previously was convicted in Michigan of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Judge Lee Howard left their bonds at the $1,225,000 set in Justice Court following their arrests. But attorneys for both men say they expect to file motions to have those bonds reduced.

The elder Upchurch has prior arrests in Arkansas and Michigan.

Neither said much during their brief hearings Monday other than to respond, "Not guilty," when Assistant District Attorney Marc Amos read each of the indictments and asked how they pleaded.

They are indicted for their alleged roles in the Nov. 29 assault at a home on Pine Bluff Road in the Clay County section of Mantee in the western part of the county.

Fellow Chickasaw County residents Clarence Mitchell III, 22, and Emmett Buchanan, 44, remain in the Clay County Jail on $1,225,000 bonds. They likely have been indicted by the Clay County Grand Jury as well but their indictments have not been served. They could be served and arraigned as early as today.

According to previous court proceedings, Roger Jones was outside his house on Pine Bluff Road when four people pulled up and demanded money at gunpoint.

Jones' wife, Ariel Coleman, who was inside the house, heard the commotion in the yard and went to the door, drawing the attention of the suspects.

They forced the wife and four children -- who at the time were ages 6 and 5 and 2-year-old twins -- at gunpoint into a closet in the rear bedroom of the brick home.

They made off with $1,150 and a cell phone, according to court documents.

The victims were able to give detectives the names of possible suspects.