Couple leads Mississippi, Louisiana deputies on high speed chase with baby, toddler in tow. Drug trafficking, child abuse charges filed.

Published 6:39 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022

A couple faces multiple charges after a Dec. 31  high-speed car chase involving deputies from two states.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said Tayler Darnell Dawkins, 28, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Reneisha Lashun Miller, no age given, of Wichita, Kansas, are each charged with trafficking in marijuana and child abuse. Dawkins is charged with felony eluding in connection with the chase. Both were released after posting bond.

Pace said two pounds of high-grade marijuana were confiscated after the chase and a loaded .40-caliber handgun was found under the car seat. He said the couple was traveling with two children, a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old.

According to sheriff’s office reports, Warren County authorities were notified about 8:30 a.m. Dec. 31 that Madison Parish deputies were attempting to stop a black Nissan SUV going eastbound on Interstate 20 at a high rate of speed.

When the SUV crossed into Mississippi, its speed was clocked on radar in excess of 100 mph and Warren County deputy David Culbertson joined the Madison Parish deputies in the chase west of Bovina. At that point, the Madison Parish deputies called off their chase, turning it over to Warren County authorities and Culbertson was able to stop the SUV on I-20 between the Flowers exit and the Hinds County line.

As Culbertson was taking Dawkins into custody, Pace said, he saw the children in the back seat of the SUV. A search after Dawkins and Miller were taken into custody revealed the marijuana in two packages near the children in the backseat. The handgun was found under the driver’s seat. Items used in the sale of marijuana were also found. The children were placed in the custody of state Child Protective Services officials and were later released to family members.

The case has been referred to the grand jury.