Two men indicted for 2016 Cotton District murder

Syboris Pippins, 18, (left) and Jaylen Barker, 20  have been charged with capital murder in connection to a 2016 shooting death of an MSU student in the Cotton District
Staff Writer

Two Lowndes County men have been indicted for capital murder in connection to an incident that left a Mississippi State University student dead in the Cotton District in 2016.

Jaylen Barker, 20 and Syboris Pippins, 18, are in the Oktibbeha County Jail, with Barker accused in the shooting death of Joseph Tillman, after Pippins robbed Tillman in the Cotton District on Nov. 6.

Tillman was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and was a senior marketing major at MSU. 

Both Barker and Pippins were charged on Nov. 10, 2016.

The Starkville Police Department previously said investigators believe Tillman interacted with the four suspects for several minutes before the fatal shot was fired. The victim then chased one of the suspects towards Stagger In Sports Grill, before returning to the location of the other suspects.

It is unclear if a physical altercation occurred between Tillman and the suspects, but authorities stated a verbal altercation may have taken place before the shooting and prior to the suspected robbery.

"Our grand jury in Oktibbeha County reviewed the evidence and indicted them," District Attorney Scott Colom said. "As far as commenting on the evidence, I can't do that."

Both Barker and Pippins will be arraigned before a trial date can be set.

Colom could not confirm the day or time of the arraignment, but said it will be in the next couple of days.