By Regina Butler

The Pontotoc Progress

RANDOLPH - John D. Scott, a 33-year-old Pontotoc County man, was in jail today accused of gunning down a couple along a deserted road just south of here.

The late Saturday afternoon shooting left the woman dead on the side of the road and the man critically wounded.

Bail was set at $1 million for Scott of 4157 Highway 76. He was charged with murder, aggravated assault and felony possession of a firearm.

The victims were identified as Jennifer Rene Lenard, 22, of 403 Pecan Circle Apartments, Duck Hill, and Dudley Coleman, 41, of P.O. Box 33, Gore Springs. Both addresses are near Grenada.

Late Monday, Coleman was hanging on to life at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Pontotoc County authorities said. He had been shot once in the head.

"It appears to be an execution-style killing," said Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask. The initial call came into the sheriff's office about 4:30 p.m.

Deserted road

Mask said the shooting occurred on a deserted road off Antioch Church Road in south Pontotoc County.

"Coleman and Scott knew each other. They had worked together, and Scott owed Coleman money," the sheriff told a news conference.

The pair was going to meet at a fast-food restaurant in Bruce, the sheriff said, but "Scott said he feared for his life and his girlfriend's life and her child's life, so he arranged for them (the two men) to meet on Highway 9 South." Scott's girlfriend and her child were not involved in the incident.

Mask said a heated argument began after they met on Hoedown Road, a remote gravel road less than a mile north of Highway 9 South.

Investigation shows that Coleman was shot in the back of the head. Lenard was shot in the back of the head after she apparently left the vehicle.

Lenard appeared to have fallen, and officers surmised that the vehicle may have run over her because it was still in drive.

"At this point there is no official word from the medical examiner to back up this fact, but we believe that is what happened," Mask said. "When we first got the call, we thought we were going to a wreck scene. Then another caller said the girl was shot."

Scott was arrested about 8:15 p.m. near a pond, where officers found a pistol, which they consider evidence.

"He has fully cooperated with us since his arrest," said Mask.

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