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I was made aware last week of the situation of a registered Sex Offender offering candy and a chance to play with a puppy to a 4-year-old in the City Park of Magee.


The situation is awful…and scary for everyone who lives in Magee or any city for that matter.  Magee is a safe place…but there are “bad” people everywhere and we as adults must insure the safety of our children as much as we can.


The little girl’s mother acted quickly.  Candy Burns got the tag number.  She was able to follow through with the existing situation.  Her fast action lead to the arrest of David Michael Starling.


I don’t imagine Candy has slept a wink since this happened.


What bothers me personally, is the lack of laws that can be enforced when something like this happens.  I just assumed (and when am I going to learn not to assume anything) that the guy would be locked up and the key thrown away!  I’ve always heard, Sex Offenders cannot be in a park, near a school or church…but the deal is, the offender can not “reside” so many feet near these places.  So where does this leave us?  If the Sex Offender is no longer under probation, the laws really, in my opinion, are not in place to protect the young or old!  The laws are not the fault of the Magee PD. Laws on the books that are available to the police will be charged.


I have a problem with bail…. but then again…. I just thought if you did something bad you didn’t get out.  Wrong!  Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

I did a little research of bail.

According to the website “Mississippi Arrest,” All accused regardless of the gravity of their criminal infractions do have the right to apply for bail; however, whether release will be granted or not is left up to the judiciary. Generally, the magistrate will consider the criminal history of the defendant and any instances in his background of disobeying court diktats before the suspect is freed.

As far as the bail amount is concerned, this is based on the nature of the crime; the more heinous the act, the higher will be the bail amount. In fact, bail is usually denied when the matter pertains to homicide

I do not think our parks are unsafe.  I just feel in the times we live in, we as parents, grandparents, etc must be aware of where children are and the surroundings. Does this mean we can’t go to the park…no…we must be aware with watchful eyes on our children.


I love our city.  I appreciate the work that has gone into the development of our City Park and Sportsplex.  The situation has served as a wake-up call to me!  That sweet little 4-year-old told her mama what happened and her mother acted.  A lesson well taught.  Be sure you are teaching your children (old and young) about dangers.


When my sweet granddaughters come to see me this summer, we will visit the park…but you can be sure this grandmother will have her eyes wide open!








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