JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Hinds County Court judge revoked bond for a woman that investigators say shot and killed a woman following an argument at a North Jackson nightclub.
Wednesday, Judge Johnnie McDaniels pulled the bond that the lower court had given to Augena Funchess in connection with a Jan. 24 shooting that stemmed from an altercation at M-Bar Sports Grill.
Around 3 a.m., detectives say Funchess shot and killed 25-year-old Kiana Singleton on Ridgewood Court Drive.
Funchess was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder and drive-by shooting. A Jackson Municipal Court judge gave Funchess a $1 million bond on the murder charge and a $250,000 bond on the drive-by charge. However, she had never bonded out.
Yvonne Singleton, Kiana’s mother, was grateful that Funchess’ bond had been revoked.
“She’s a threat to society. She was supposed to have a curfew and she was not (following) it,” she said.
Funchess was out on a previous murder charge when the M-Bar incident occurred.
Under terms of that release, Funchess was given a 10 p.m. curfew. However, police say Funchess was leaving a club well after that when she allegedly got into an argument with the victim. She later went to a second club after the shooting.
Bond documents do not indicate that Funchess was required to wear an ankle monitor or would have to submit to GPS monitoring.
“No one was monitoring her,” Singleton said. “If (they had) she wouldn’t be in jail on another murder charge.”
Two months to the day after the shooting, Singleton is still grieving the loss of her daughter.
“I’ll never get over it. Now, I have to take care of her one-year-old. She’ll never get to know her mother,” she said. “I cry over it every day. It hurts.”
Meanwhile, more details are emerging about the case.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 24, JPD responded to a home on Wandering Way, in response to a call that a woman had been shot in the head.
“During the course of the investigation, I executed a search warrant for the M-Bar to obtain surveillance and you can see the altercation in the parking lot (between) a gray or silver car and a dark Range Rover,” he said.
Video obtained shows a woman believed to be Funchess sitting in the passenger seat and arguing with the two individuals in the gray compact.
Caston said he determined the passenger was Funchess after comparing the video to a social media post showing Funchess at the M-Bar that same night.
She and the driver of the Range Rover, Marcus Lamonte Guice, has been attending a birthday party at the establishment.
However, when the two were leaving, Funchess got into an argument with a woman in a gray compact vehicle. The vehicle was apparently blocking the Range Rover from turning into the street, the detective said.
The video also showed Funchess was armed. Funchess lit a cigarette and a flash of light showed that she had a handgun in her lap, the detective said.
“As the Range Rover pulled out, you can see her come out of the passenger side of the vehicle, pointing back at the other car,” Caston testified.
Funchess, who was standing on the windowsill of the passenger window, allegedly fired shots as the two vehicles traveled along Ridgewood Court.
“You can see the passenger hang out the side of the gray car and that’s when shots are fired,” the detective explained. “You can see the victim peek her head out of the window of her car and put her head back in the car.”
After the shooting, both vehicles “proceeded to go toward Ridgewood Road and go in opposite directions,” the detective said.
Singleton’s cousin, who was under the influence at the time according to police, got onto I-220 and drove to a home on Wandering Way.
She did not know that Singleton had been shot, despite her being slumped over in the vehicle.
The victim’s cousin also told police that the shots could have been fired on I-220 but was not sure.
Caston said witnesses at the scene identified Guice as the driver. Guice then identified Funchess as the shooter but said she only fired shots into the air.
In all, two shots were fired, the detective said.
After that incident, Funchess and Guice went to the Aces Gentlemen’s Club, where the two parted ways.
Funchess later admitted to firing shots but said she only fired them in the air. However, she did surrender an illegal handgun to the police, Caston said.
The suspect also told police that she was told that she did not hit Singleton during the incident.
Bullet fragments were recovered but they have not been tested to determine if they match the weapon handed over by Funchess, he said. It was unclear where the casings were picked up.
An attorney for Funchess said there was no concrete evidence proving her client was the shooter.
“Based on the testimony of the detectives, no witnesses said she shot anyone, she only fired shots from the car,” she said. “Because they had video showing … muzzle (flares) they assumed she fired the shots.”
Caston said he could not determine what direction the shots were fired based on the surveillance.
“There’s nothing to show that she did anything,” the attorney said.
Funchess is currently being held at the Hinds County Detention Center in Raymond. She appeared at the hearing via telemonitor.
She maintains her innocence, responding, “even though I didn’t do this?” when her attorney told her bond had been revoked.
District Attorney Jody Owens applauded the judge’s decision, saying his office looks forward to “prosecuting this case to the fullest extent of the law.
“This is not the first time she has been involved in a violent crime where the loss of life has occurred,” he said. “She was out on (bond) when this incident occurred.”
Funchess was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in June 2019, after a grand jury ruled that she “did willfully unlawfully and feloniously kill Kiona Morgan … with a handgun.”
That incident happened on January 23, 2019, in the city of Clinton. A municipal judge in that city initially gave Funchess a $1 million bond, an amount that was later reduced to $50,000.
She was already out on bond by the time the case made it to Hinds County Circuit Court Tomie Green, who left the lower bond in place. Since then, the case has been continued multiple times.
It was not known if Green added the 10 p.m. curfew, or if that was already put in place by the lower court judge. Bond documents do not indicate that Funchess had to submit to wearing an ankle monitor or other monitoring device as a way for the curfew to be enforced.
Typically, individuals given a curfew are required to use a monitoring device, Owens said.
He had not seen the order but said that without a monitor, curfew orders are hard to enforce.
“A lot of things here are hard to police,” he said. “No doubt here that the process has improvements to be made.”
WLBT has reached out to Clinton city officials and were awaiting a response.