Hinds County exhumed Dexter Wade’s body from the local penal colony at 8 a.m. on Monday, hours before his family was set to arrive to witness his removal from the spot where local officials buried him long before notifying the family of his death.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, cited a signed letter from the Hinds County Board of Supervisors to Dennis Sweet, another attorney for the family. The letter said the “exhuming will take place on Monday, November 13, 2023 at 11:30am.”
Crump and Sweet said they had an agreement with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors that Wade’s mother would be able to attend the exhumation. The family only learned that his body had already been removed when they arrived at the Hinds County Penal Farm.
Attorneys Ben Crump and Dennis Sweet said this letter dated Nov. 7, 2023, shows Dexter Wade’s exhumation scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 13, 2023, but the family was told when they arrived at the Hinds County Penal Farm he’d already been exhumed that morning.
Wade died in early March after an off-duty Jackson Police Department officer fatally struck him with his vehicle as he attempted to walk across the southbound lanes of Interstate 55. His mother Bettersten Wade searched for him for months and reported him missing to police on March 15. But even though Dexter Wade had a prescription bottle with his name on it and the coroner’s office had already determined his identity by the time his mother filed the police report, JPD did not inform her of his death until late August—over a month after his burial.
Wade’s family asked to exhume his body on Nov. 13 in preparation for an independent autopsy and a “proper burial” for their loved one, Crump said.
“It was an agreed upon position with the County that Ms. Bettersten Wade would be here at 11:30 to commence the exhumation of her son,” Crump said at a vigil on Nov. 13. “Like a thief in the night, they went and took the body out of the ground. Ms. Bettersten asked, ‘Who gave permission
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