Durr family tries to cope with tragedy

Published 5:00 am Friday, June 21, 2002

On a recent trip to enroll Marvin Durr at Hinds CommunityCollege, the Rev. Jerry Durr warned his son about evil in the worldand to not stay out after getting off work at night.

Marvin’s reply was that of a typical teen who thinks his parentsare being over protective.

“Daddy, when are you going to let me grow up?” Durr recalled hisson saying in response to his fatherly advice.

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As the Rev. Durr continued his message of caution for his son toavoid danger, Marvin offered an example of his faith and Christianupbringing.

“He said, ‘If anything like that happens, I’m ready,'” thesenior Durr said.

The Durrs’ conversation proved tragically prophetic Tuesday as abody, which authorities are virtually certain is Marvin’s, wasfound in his burned car on South Washington Street. Authorities areawaiting DNA test results for positive identification.

However, two suspects facing capital murder and other chargeshave told authorities that Marvin Durr was the man who picked themup Monday night. An investigation indicates that Durr was shot oncein the head and the car was then set on fire, authorities said.

Jerrard T. Cook, 18, of 2123 Madison Road, and Cearic A. Barnes,18, of 830 Beauregard St., were arrested Wednesday night and remainin the Lincoln County Jail. Both are charged with capital murder,car jacking, arson and conspiracy. Cook is also charged withburglary of a dwelling in which a gun, the one believed to havebeen used Tuesday, was taken.

Jerry Durr said he knew both suspects. Barnes was a cousin ofMarvin’s and Cook had participated in the Rev. Durr’s ChristianFellowship program at Brookhaven Outreach Ministries.

“He would go through the Bible classes and activities at thechurch,” Durr said of Cook.

Durr said Barnes had stayed at his home on a number ofoccasions. Earlier, Durr said the family sometimes got schoolclothes for Barnes, and he would even refer to him and wife,Frances, as mom and dad.

“He started moving away and having trouble in his life,” Durrsaid of Barnes.

Durr said Barnes was in and out of jail and running with thewrong crowd. He said he then warned Marvin to stay clear.

But after getting off work from Wal-Mart at 11 p.m. Monday,Marvin Durr was on his way home and spotted Cook and Barnes, JerryDurr said. He said his son stopped to help them.

Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte said it appears Cook andBarnes were intent on stealing a car and using it in a robbery.

“I don’t know what happened from there to make it into ashooting and a murder,” Boyte said.

Boyte said authorities are continuing their investigation intothe crime. He was uncertain whether there would be any furtherarrests.

“We’ve got to talk to some other people and follow up on somemore leads that have come in,” Boyte said.

Boyte said a preliminary hearing for Cook and Barnes will likelybe Tuesday in Lincoln County Justice Court. The case is expected tobe bound over for presentation to the Lincoln County Grand Jurywhen it reconvenes Aug. 27.

On Thursday, Rev. Durr said he recalled his son paying off his1991 Toyota three weeks earlier. Durr said he had gone in halveswith his son on the car and Marvin, to help pay for it, got a jobthe same day he received the vehicle.

“That shows how diligent he was and committed,” Durr said.

White ribbons were put up on doors at the Durr home and at theBrookhaven Outreach Ministries office Wednesday. The Rev. Durr saidthe family is trusting God as it deals with the tragedy.

“We’re taking it one hour at a time and asking God to help,”Durr said. “While we’re facing this, we know that His grace issufficient.”

Durr said the family is praying and making “sacrifice ofpraise.”

“I don’t know what might come out of this bad thing, but God isin control,” Durr said.

Durr was appreciative of the calls and prayers from people inthe community.

“We really can feel their prayers,” Durr said. “It’s helping usthrough this storm in our lives.”