Desoto County News

Update: Dodson sentenced for attempted murder in ambush of police officer

Photo: From left, Assistant District Attorney Drew Willcutt, District Attorney Matthew Barton, Southaven Police Chief Brent Vickers and Det. William Boliek, following the verdict in the case of Kyle Dodson of Memphis. (Bob Bakken/


DeSoto County Circuit Court Judge Celeste Wilson Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 28 sentenced Kyle Dodson of Memphis, age 21, to 38 years in prison in the attempted murder conviction Dodson received Tuesday evening, Feb. 27. As part of the sentencing, Dodson will not be eligible for parole.

Wilson also sentenced Dodson to five years post-release supervision on the conspiracy to illegally steal a vehicle.

Wilson’s verdict came after the jury chose to relinquish that duty from them to her.

District Attorney Matthew Barton had sought a life sentence for Dodson with a conviction. Dodson was accused of ambushing a Southaven police officer last March during an auto burglary spree.

Dodson was found guilty of attempted murder in connection with an auto burglary in progress in Southaven and the ensuing chase into Memphis, where he was caught and arrested. Dodson was also found guilty of conspiracy to illegally take a motor vehicle, but not guilty on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.  

The case was Barton’s first one for him to argue as the county’s new District Attorney. He later said he was pleased with the jury verdict.  

“We had an officer who’s trying to protect our community and he got ambushed by criminals with a gun,” Barton said. “We wanted to make sure that the shooter was accountable for that. The shooter was the only one on trial today, so I feel like we got what we came for.”

In March of last year, Southaven police encountered a stolen Nissan Maxima that led to the discovery of another auto burglary in progress. An officer attempted to deploy stop sticks to stop the Nissan Maxima when he was ambushed with gunfire by Dodson, who was in the process of stealing a second Nissan Maxima.

A security doorbell camera across the street caught the shootout, which resulted in Dodson being shot in the ankle. The other assailants fled the scene but were later arrested.

Dodson pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has been held in the DeSoto County Adult Detention Center since his arrest on March 24, 2023.

Barton feels Tuesday’s verdict should set the standard for what can be expected going forward. He campaigned heavily on stopping Memphis crime from coming into DeSoto County without suffering consequences. 

“I said that if people come from Memphis to DeSoto County to break the law, we will get the maximum penalties we can, based on the circumstances,” Barton said. “The only way to do that in this case was to try it. We did not make him a plea offer at all, because we would not consider anything less than the max in this situation, especially when he shot at a police officer from behind.”

Southaven Police Chief Brent Vickers, who was the department’s Deputy Chief of Police when the incident took place, said he was pleased with the outcome and Barton’s work on the case.  

“We fully support his efforts to help us to not only get these violent offenders off the street, but to put them away for a long period of time, so that they don’t have an opportunity to reoffend,” Vickers said. “If you come into DeSoto County, and you come into the city of Southaven and you attempt to harm one of our police officers, you’re going to be brought to justice in a very aggressive manner and in a manner that’s going to prevent you from being able to reoffend.”

Barton added the Southaven Police Department did “a fantastic job” in their hard work of putting together the case against Dodson.