A Greenwood, Miss., man has died after a beating left him braindead, a family member said on Tuesday. University of Mississippi senior Arielle Hudson told the Mississippi Free Press that an assailant beat her brother, Labrandon Baugh, 29, with a baseball bat across from a grocery store in downtown Greenwood on Saturday night. Deputy Police Chief Marvin Hammon confirmed that report to the Greenwood Commonwealth on Monday.
Before her brother’s death, Hudson told the Mississippi Free Press on Monday that police had a suspect in custody, which Hammond also told the Commonwealth on Monday. The Greenwood Police Department has not responded to requests for comment. Hudson, who said her little brother’s nickname is “PeeWee,” said first responders airlifted her brother to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson on Saturday night.
Hudson, who is UM’s first black woman Rhodes Scholar, announced his death on her Facebook page on Tuesday. Because of safety measures in place at hospitals amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, though, the Tunica native was not able to be at her brother’s side during his final moments, she wrote.
“And man, not being able to actually see you, physically, in your last moments because of this virus only makes the reality seem so much more unreal,” Hudson wrote. “Honestly, it’s scary, and it hurts because you never deserved something like this. This is a super hard pill to swallow, and it’s going to take time. The only thing I can be grateful for right now is that our last words in every conversation was always ‘I love you.’ And I’m glad to have that as our last words to and our last memories of each other.”
Baugh’s father and mother were able to be at his side when he passed, though, Hudson said. They used Facebook to share a video call with her and other family members to give them a chance to say goodbye.
Hudson said her older brother was “a huge family person” who “loved his family more than anyone in the world.”
“He made sure to let all of us know how much he loved us every time anyone had a conversation with him,” she said. “He was a helper. He didn’t have a lot, but he was willing to do whatever he could to help anyone who had less than he did.”
Hudson told the Mississippi Free Press over the weekend that she was urging witnesses to contact the Greenwood Police Department.
Disclosure: Arielle Hudson is a Mississippi Free Press advisory-board member.
Correction: We initially said that Baugh was airlifted to Jackson on Tuesday night; that happened Saturday night. We regret the error.