Dexter Wade: A Mother’s Journey To Finding The Truth

Dexter Wade, a 37-year-old resident of Jackson, Mississippi, led a life marked by both promise and challenges, culminating in a tragic and untimely death that raised serious questions about police communication and accountability.

Born and raised in Jackson, Dexter was remembered by his mother, Bettersten Wade, as a sweet and intelligent child, adept with computers and harboring dreams of one day running his own business. These aspirations, reflective of a young man with potential and ambition, unfortunately, took a detour during his teenage years.

Influenced by older peers involved in criminal activities, Dexter’s path veered into one of legal troubles, including car theft and drug use. This period of his life marked a significant departure from his earlier ambitions and led to a cycle of incarceration and release. Despite these challenges, Dexter’s role as a father to his two daughters, Johnelle and Joselyn, remained a central and enduring part of his life. His relationship with their mother, Candice Thomas, though romantically ended, transitioned into a co-parenting partnership characterized by mutual respect and a shared commitment to their children’s well-being.

Struggles After Leaving Prison

Dexter’s legal troubles culminated in two prison sentences, one for attempted auto theft and another for armed robbery, as per the Mississippi Department of Corrections records. Released in 2017, his life post-incarceration was a struggle to find stability and purpose. His diagnosis with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia added layers of complexity to his post-prison life. Despite these challenges, Dexter was known in his neighborhood for his acts of kindness, such as distributing homemade ice pops to local children and helping the homeless, reflecting a spirit of generosity that endured despite his personal struggles.

The night of March 5 marked a tragic turn in Dexter’s life. Following an argument with his mother about a broken window, he left home with a friend, never to return. In a devastating twist of fate, Dexter was struck by a Jackson police SUV while crossing Interstate 55. The circumstances of his death were not immediately made clear to his family, leading to a painful period of uncertainty and anguish for his mother, Bettersten.

Lack Of Communication Or Negligence?

The handling of Dexter’s case by the Jackson Police Department was marked by a lack of communication and transparency. Despite knowing Dexter’s identity, the police failed to inform Bettersten, allowing his body to remain unclaimed in the county morgue for months. This oversight, or perhaps negligence, compounded the tragedy of Dexter’s death, leaving his family in a state of limbo and exacerbating their grief when the truth finally came to light.

Bettersten’s experience with the Jackson Police Department was further complicated by a prior incident involving her brother, who died after an encounter with a Jackson officer. This personal history contributed to a deep-seated mistrust of the police, making her ordeal following Dexter’s disappearance even more distressing. Her relentless search for her son, fueled by a mother’s love and desperation, was met with silence and inaction from the authorities, a situation that speaks volumes about the challenges faced by families seeking answers in the wake of such tragedies.

Dexter Wade’s story is a poignant and sobering reminder of the complexities of life, the impact of one’s environment and choices, and the profound effects of systemic issues within law enforcement and community relations. His life, marked by both potential and pitfalls, and his untimely death, serve as a stark illustration of the human cost of societal and systemic failures. Dexter’s memory lives on in the hearts of his family, particularly his mother and daughters, as a symbol of lost potential and a reminder of the enduring strength of familial bonds in the face of unimaginable adversity.

How Did Bettersten Learn About Her Son?

The discovery of Dexter Wade’s fate by his mother, Bettersten Wade, is a heart-wrenching narrative that underscores the profound impact of systemic failures and the resilience of a mother’s love in the face of unimaginable adversity. Bettersten’s journey to uncover the truth about her son’s disappearance and death is marked by a harrowing blend of hope, despair, and the relentless pursuit of answers.

Bettersten’s ordeal began on a seemingly ordinary evening when Dexter left their home in Jackson, Mississippi, after an argument about a broken window. This was the last time she saw her son alive. Days turned into weeks with no word from Dexter, an uncharacteristic silence that deepened Bettersten’s anxiety. Driven by a mother’s instinct, she reported her son missing to the Jackson Police Department, hoping for any information that might lead to his whereabouts. However, the response she received from the authorities was marked by a lack of urgency and clarity, leaving her in a state of agonizing uncertainty.

Unbeknownst to Bettersten, the tragic truth was that Dexter had been struck and killed by a Jackson police car on the night he left home. The police, despite being aware of Dexter’s identity and Bettersten’s contact information, failed to notify her of his death. Instead, Dexter’s body lay unclaimed in the county morgue for months, a silent testament to a broken system that failed to bridge the gap between a grieving mother and the truth about her son.

Bettersten’s search for Dexter was relentless and heartrending. She turned to social media, posting pictures of her son and pleading for information. She scoured the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and exploring abandoned houses, clinging to the hope that Dexter might still be found alive. As days turned into months, the lack of information from the police only compounded her anguish. Her efforts were met with a wall of silence, a bureaucratic maze that offered no solace or answers.

The Search For A Missing Son Ends

The revelation of Dexter’s fate came 172 days after his disappearance, a period marked by Bettersten’s unwavering determination and deepening despair. The truth, when it finally emerged, was a devastating blow. Dexter had been killed in an accident involving a police vehicle, a fact that had been known to the authorities yet withheld from her. The realization that her son had been dead all along, and that his body had been treated with such disregard, added a layer of trauma to Bettersten’s already profound grief.

Bettersten’s journey to find her son culminated in a visit to the Hinds County penal farm, where she was finally able to see Dexter’s final resting place. The discovery was a moment of profound sorrow and closure, bringing an end to months of searching and uncertainty. It was a poignant scene, one that encapsulated the depth of a mother’s love and the pain of loss.

The story of how Bettersten learned about her son’s death is a stark reminder of the failures in communication and empathy that can occur within our systems. It highlights the need for transparency, accountability, and humanity in dealing with cases of missing persons and fatalities, especially involving law enforcement. Bettersten’s experience is a testament to the strength of a mother’s love, enduring even in the face of systemic indifference and the most heartbreaking of truths.

Bettersten Hires An Attorney For Justice

In the case of Bettersten Wade, who is seeking justice for the handling of her son Dexter Wade’s death by the Jackson Police Department, her attorney would likely explore several legal avenues. These strategies are crucial in addressing the alleged negligence or misconduct by the police department.

Civil Right Violation

A primary focus could be on civil rights violations. If there’s evidence suggesting that Dexter’s civil rights were compromised, the attorney might file a lawsuit under federal civil rights statutes. This approach could include addressing violations of due process, particularly if the police department failed to adhere to proper procedures in notifying the next of kin after a death.

Wrongful Death

Another significant aspect of the legal strategy might involve a wrongful death claim. This claim would argue that Dexter’s untimely demise was a direct result of the negligence or misconduct of the police officer involved in the incident. The claim would seek to establish that this negligence led to damages for Dexter’s family, both emotional and financial.


Negligence could be a central theme in the lawsuit, focusing on the police department’s failure to properly identify Dexter’s body and notify his family promptly. This claim would delve into the department’s failure to follow standard procedures for dealing with fatalities that involve police officers, highlighting a systemic issue within the department.

Emotional Distress

The attorney might also consider the angle of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Given the prolonged period during which Bettersten was left in the dark about her son’s death, it could be argued that the police department’s actions—or their inaction—caused significant emotional trauma.

The Fight For Reform And Policy Changes

Additionally, the legal strategy might include citing violations of Mississippi state laws. Depending on the specifics of the state’s legal framework and the details of the case, there could be additional state-level legal claims related to the conduct of the police, their handling of the incident, and the communication breakdown with Dexter’s family.

Beyond seeking justice through financial compensation, the attorney might also advocate for policy changes within the police department. This aspect of the legal battle is crucial for ensuring that such incidents are prevented in the future, aiming to bring about systemic change that goes beyond the confines of this individual case.

The exact approach and the specifics of the legal strategy would naturally depend on the intricate details of the case, the evidence at hand, and the particular expertise of the attorney representing Bettersten Wade. To get the most current and detailed information, it would be essential to refer to legal documents filed in the case or to statements made by the attorney.

Need Help? Call Us Now!

Do not forget that when you or anyone you know is facing a criminal charge, you have us, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, by your side to help you build the best defense case for you. We will work and be in your best interest for you and we will obtain the best possible outcome that can benefit you. We can explain everything you need to know about your trial and how to defend your case best. We can help you step by step through the criminal process. 

Therefore, do not hesitate to call us if you find yourself or someone you know that is facing criminal charges unsure about the court system. We will work with you to give you the best type of defense that can help you solve your case. It is vital to have someone explain the result of the charge to you and guide you in the best possible way.

Here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we have professional and knowledgeable criminal law attorneys who are experienced in building a defense case for you that suits your needs for the best possible outcome that can benefit you.  

Also, here at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, you are given a free consultation at your convenience. You may choose to have your appointment via Zoom, google meet, email, or an in-person appointment; and we will provide you with as much advice and information as possible so you can have the best possible result in your case. 

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