Police: Ohio Man Beaten, Strangled by Fugitives

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) - Authorities say a man who was kidnapped by two fugitives from Louisiana and found dead at an Alabama hotel was
beaten and strangled.

Vicksburg, Miss., police Sgt. Sandra Williams says a preliminary autopsy report shows 53-year-old David Michael Cupps was beaten and
had trauma around his neck, indicating strangulation.

Cupps' body was found Wednesday near a Comfort Inn in Bessemer, Ala. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent John Mehr said the fugitives, 33-year-old Darian "Drake" Pierce of Bogalusa, La., and 36-year-old Ricky Wedgeworth of Memphis, are responsible for Cupps' death.

Officials said Cupps, of the Columbus, Ohio, suburb of Sunbury, was carjacked while he was in Vicksburg. Police officials from Vicksburg were in Alabama on Friday as part of their investigation.

Pierce and Wedgeworth escaped last Friday from a Louisiana State
Police compound. They have not been found.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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