Man Indicted in Math Teacher’s Death Pleads Guilty

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

The late Sherry Buford

Almost exactly one year after her death, the man charged with driving drunk and killing Oxford math teacher Sherry Buford pleaded guilty Wednesday at the Lee County Circuit Court.

Joseph Britt

Joseph Britt, 36, of Plantersville, pleaded guilty to two counts of DUI death and one count of DUI maiming, according to a court clerk.

The second DUI death was for Sandra Phillips, 59, who was in the vehicle with Buford. She received life-threatening injuries from the crash but recovered until her death in January from complications related to her injuries.

Buford worked for the Oxford School District since 2005 as a sixth-grade math teacher. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi.

Sandra Philips

Phillips attended Lafayette High School and worked for the university.

According to court records, Britt was traveling on Interstate 22 near Mooreville at about 9:20 p.m. Feb. 15, 2018 when he crossed the road into the wrong lane and crashed into a vehicle head-on, killing Buford immediately.

Britt faces up to 75 years behind bars. A Lee County Circuit Court judge set a sentencing hearing for Britt on March 1.

Three others in Buford’s car, including Phillips, suffered moderate to severe injuries.

Buford and the others were returning from watching her niece, Shaniya Buford, play basketball with Itawamba Community College in Fulton against Northeast Mississippi Community College.


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