Jackson School Teacher Charged in Pregnant Woman's Murder - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Ridgeland 12/07/06

Jackson School Teacher Charged in Pregnant Woman's Murder

Carla Hughes Carla Hughes
Avis Banks Avis Banks


By Bert Case

Ridgeland Police have arrested a 25 year old Jackson woman and charged her with accessory after the fact of murder, in connection with the brutal slaying of 27 year old Avis Banks at her Ridgeland home last week.

Banks was five months pregnant at the time of her death. It happened in Ridgeland's Blackthorne Subdivision.

Carla Hughes, who is originally from Greenville, but now lives in Jackson, was arrested about 8:30 Wednesday night. She has a lawyer and is being held in the Madison County Detention Center in Canton, charged with accessory after the fact of murder.

She was a language arts teacher at Chastain Middle School, but resigned the day after her arrest.

Twenty-seven-year-old Avis Banks was killed November 29th in the garage of her home at 708 Old Square Court in Ridgeland. A single bullet hole was found in the garage door, but no bullets were recovered at the scene. An autopsy showed she had been shot and stabbed.

Her fiance, Keyon Pittman, who lived with her, found Banks lying on the floor of her garage near her car. She was shot in the leg, chest and head. Her throat was cut.

There was evidence of forced entry into her home by kicking open a door, but nothing was missing.

Lt. John Neal of the Ridgeland Police Department heads the investigation.

Neal says "It's an ongoing investigation, we have gotten to a critical point in this, where we have gotten some information, we are trying to verify, and until we get that information, we are not going to make any more comments on the case at this time."

The victim's father, Frederick Banks, believes someone faked the break in to try to hide the fact his daughter was the target.

Banks says "Yes, thats exactly what happened. We knew that the first night. We could see they didn't take nothing."

Her mother said Avis Banks was a very special child and person.

Mrs. Banks says "I love all my children, but nobody was like Avis. She was just the quietest child."

Ridgeland Police say they expect at least one more arrest in this case.

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