Family of alleged Mudbug shooter says he was failed by the system; still processing what happened
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The whole system failed him.
That’s the message family members want to get out about Calvin Berry, one of two teens arrested following a shooting at the Mississippi Mudbug Festival on Saturday night.
“I’m about to sink. At 93, I’m about to sink,” said Calvin’s grandmother, Julie Proctor. “But I got a father upstairs. That’s who’s holding me up.”
Calvin was arrested by Hinds County sheriff’s deputies Saturday night following a shooting at the Mudbug Festival. He was booked at the Henley-Young Patton Juvenile Justice Center.
The incident is the latest in a string of tragic events that have characterized Calvin’s early teenage years, from being arrested for a string of violent crimes he allegedly committed as a 13-year old in late 2020, to skipping from guardian to guardian while out on bond, to being in custody at the juvenile justice center when his father froze to death during the 2021 winter storms.
Proctor said her grandson’s late father tried to get Calvin emotional help after he was arrested the first time, but was unable to. “He said he felt like something was going on, but they always pushed him aside,” she said.
Another relative questioned why Calvin’s bond was never revoked after he got into a fight at the Learning Center, the Rankin County School District’s alternative school.
Calvin was attending the Learning Center as a condition of his bond. He was out on bond at the time while awaiting trial on six charges in Hinds County Circuit Court.
It was unclear when the fight incident occurred. According to the relative, Calvin attended the Learning Center from September to April, prior to being arrested at Mudbug.
The relative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Calvin was charged with simple assault for the fight, something that should have led to his bond being revoked.
Rankin County Sheriff’s Department could not confirm whether Calvin had been charged, saying he is a minor.
“Hinds County was supposed to pick him up then because he was violating his bond,” she said. “He wouldn’t have had these issues of bouncing around place to place. And also, you know, his mom didn’t really have a place to live. So that report was made to CPS and they never did their job either.”
Had Calvin been taken into custody, she says the teen likely would have been at Henley-Young, rather than at the Mudbug Festival.
Prior to the April 30 shooting, Calvin already had an extensive rap sheet and was facing six felony counts, including armed carjacking, dating back to September 2020.
Calvin was released on a $90,000 bond in September 2021.
As a condition of his release, documents show Calvin had to live with a relative in Rankin County and be enrolled in school. He also was required to check in twice a month with a case manager appointed by the Hinds County Circuit Court.
Rankin County Youth Court Judge Tom Broome said he contacted the teen’s case manager to report “that there was a problem” at the alternative school, but never got a response.
Caleslie Jones, Calvin’s support specialist, could not be reached for comment.
According to court records, on or about September 14, 2020, Berry robbed two women in the 600 block of W. Porter Street. He allegedly took the victims’ cell phones and drove away in one of the victim’s vehicles. Also that day, he allegedly tried to rob a third person in the 800 block of North Jefferson Street.
Berry was indicted on those charges in December 2020.
He was indicted on additional charges the following August, also for crimes that allegedly occurred the previous September. According to the August indictment, on or about September 10, 2020, Berry and another individual stole a vehicle, keys, and cell phone from a person in the 2000 block of Willow Way Drive. Berry was allegedly armed with a gun at the time.
Proctor recalled the family’s reaction to his arrests. “We all were upset with him and (tried) to find out why or what went through him,” she said. “That’s when my son tried to get him in a mental institute. But they would put him in this place or that place, instead of putting him in the institute to check and see what was wrong... I believe it would have helped him.”
Court records show that in October 2020, Hinds County Court Judge Johnnie McDaniels ordered Calvin to undergo a mental evaluation at the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield.
“The court, in accordance with all applicable laws and rules, does hereby find that there is reasonable ground to believe that the defendant is mentally ill and does therefore order that (he)… undergo a mental evaluation,” the judge wrote.
The results of that evaluation were sealed by a judge’s order in March 2021.
In July, Circuit Judge Faye Peterson set Calvin’s bond at $90,000, or $15,000 per charge. Under terms of that order, Calvin would have been required to submit to a curfew and wear a GPS ankle monitoring device. The order was amended in September to remove the curfew and GPS requirements.
Proctor said she still doesn’t understand what happened at the Mudbug Festival and is still trying to find out more.
Officers and deputies responded to the fairgrounds shortly after 10 o’clock on the night of April 30, to what was being called an “active shooter situation.”
Police scanner traffic that night reported multiple people had been shot, Later reports indicated that shooters allegedly fired into the crowd on the Midway. A recording obtained by WLBT showed that dozens of shots were fired.
After the dust settled, one person had been killed and five others had been injured. A police officer on duty that night shot and killed one of the alleged shooters, Sheriff Tyree Jones told the media.
Calvin, along with Leedrick Trim, was arrested on site. Calvin was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, while Trim was charged with three counts.
Proctor said she spoke to her grandson about three weeks ago. “He called and talked to me, and said, ‘Granny, I’m gonna try to get over there and see you,’” she said. “‘I love you, Granny.’”
For the 93-year-old, Calvin’s arrest is a major blow.
“I really ain’t got over my son’s death, the way he left,” Proctor said. “I’ve lost three sons and a daughter. All my sisters and brother, and mother and father. I’m just here, you know, me, my kids, and other family members. But thank God, I’ve got somebody to look to.”
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