Violent crimes top court docket

Published 6:00 am Thursday, November 1, 2001

Several violent crimes, including a murder charge from an Aug. 4incident, got court officials’ attention this week duringarraignment proceedings.

Typically, indicted defendants waive the formal reading of thecharges against them, in effect pleading not guilty and signalingthat they are ready to proceed to trial. However, formalarraignment proceedings were held in eight cases during this term,said Circuit Clerk Terry Case Watkins.

“We had crimes that required it: some armed robberies, sexualbattery…,” said Assistant District Attorney Diane Jones about thearraignment activity.

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The recent grand jury term saw 136 indictments issued and thisweek’s court session focused on those cases. Public Defender LesaBaker, whose office is representing defendants in about 45 of thecases, also said the number of formal arraignments was unusual.

“We had a bunch of bad checks, but also more violent crime thanis typical for a court term,” Baker said.

In the murder case, Jeremy Harris, 25, of 414 Old Wesson Road,is charged in the Aug. 4 shooting death of Richard Washington, 26.At the time of the incident, authorities said the two menapparently were involved in a good-natured argument that turnedsour.

An indictment is not a statement on the guilt or innocence ofthe accused. An indictment represents a belief by the grand jurythat there is probable cause to proceed to trial in a case.

In other arraignment activity, defendants and the chargesagainst them include:

* Robert Earl Lyons, 31, of 258 Poplar St. – armed robbery.

* James E. Otis, 43, of 410 East Minnesota St. – armedrobbery.

* Ricky Jones, 20, of Hazlehurst – four counts of armed robberyand one count of conspiracy.

* Frank Hebert, 45, and Mary Hebert, 34, of 3889 Primitive Dr.,Ruth – three counts of sexual battery, five counts of sexualexploitation of a child, one count of touching, handling or feelinga child for lustful purposes and two counts of conspiracy. FrankHebert is facing an additional indictment on three counts of sexualbattery.

* Jason D. King, 19, of 105 Railroad St. – two indictments: onefor burglary and one for burglary and conspiracy.

* Charlie Kintsley, 19, of 102 Railroad St. – three separateindictments totaling two burglary charges, a grand larceny chargeand two counts of conspiracy.

* Elizabeth King, 17 , of 105 Railroad St. – three separateindictments totaling two burglary charges, a grand larceny chargeand two counts of conspiracy.

* Carmela Cameron, 37, of 486 Imperial Lane, Bogue Chitto -grand larceny.

* Lekesha Redd, 24, of 1265 Field Lark Lane – burglary of adwelling and conspiracy.

* Louise Sutton, 35, of Hazlehurst – grand larceny andconspiracy.

* Robert Lee Bice, 19, of McComb – four counts of felony badcheck and three counts of misdemeanor bad check.

* Hyman Sterling, 18, of 919 Bogue Chitto Road – burglary of adwelling.

* Robert Jackson, 38, of 1641 New Sight Road – unlawful sale ofcocaine.

* Dwayne C. Evans, 40, of New Orleans – attempted escape.

* Shawn Henderson, 23, of 2791 James Dr. – unlawful sale ofcocaine.

* Edd Reeves, 51, of McComb – third offense DUI.

* Raymond Byrd, 18, of Nola Road – robbery and conspiracy.

* Lonnie Brown, 17, of Roxie – robbery and conspiracy.

* Michael King, 25, of 102 Railroad St. – grand larceny andconspiracy.

* Bradley Thompson, 22, of 1218 Walley Lane – grand larceny andconspiracy.

* Nathan Schoonover, 23, of 2801 Loyd Star Lane – vandalism ofpublic buildings.

* Thomas Stevens Perkins, 22, of Brandon – theft of anhydrousammonia and conspiracy.

* Michael Blake Sebren, 23, of Pearl – theft of anhydrousammonia and conspiracy.

* Katy Carly Reid, 19, of 108 Monticello St. – unlawfulpossession of at least 238 dosage units of diazepam.

* Rhonda Russell, 27, of 1101 East Union St. – burglary of adwelling and four counts of uttering forgery.

* Louis J. Dupree, 36, of Compton, Calif. – unlawful possessionof marijuana with intent to distribute.

* Dwayne Lee Brown, 31, of Long Beach, Calif. – unlawfulpossession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

* Vincent Brown, age unavailable, of 502 Enterprise St. -failure to support minor children.

* Ronnie Whittington, 34, of 1665 Huckleberry Road – failure tosupport minor children.

* Charles Anthony Byrd, 40, of 802 South Second St. – failure tosupport minor children.

Over 70 of the grand jury indictments involved bad checks. In anumber of cases, the charges are reduced to misdemeanors after thedefendants pay off the bad checks.

For remaining cases, Nov. 28 has been scheduled as the day foromnibus hearings or to accept guilty pleas with a sentencingrecommendation from the district attorney’s office. During omnibushearings, a trial date is set and other trial-related issues areaddressed.