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Former inmate faces new felony charges

Andrew Hammond, who previously served five years of a 20-year term for manslaughter, will be in Lincoln County Circuit Court again Monday.

Hammond, 29, of Crystal Springs, was indicted by a Lincoln County grand jury during its January term for shooting a man — described by Sheriff Steve Rushing as a “friend of a friend” — with a New England .410 shotgun around Dec. 2. Possession of the weapons by a convicted felon — he was also indicted for having a switchblade knife — is a crime.

The grand jury also indicted Hammond for possession of at least one-tenth but less than two grams of methamphetamine around Dec. 5, 2017.

The motion and plea date was originally set for Judge Michael Taylor’s courtroom Sept. 17 with a trial scheduled for Sept. 18, but Magnolia attorney Robert Lenoir had a case already set in New Orleans. He said in his request to the court, dated Sept. 14, that he also was not ready for the case, based on discovery, to be tried at that time.

Taylor continued the motion and plea date to Monday at 3:30 p.m.

Hammond was arrested by Lincoln County deputies Dec. 5 on charges of aggravated assault, possession of drugs and sale and transfer of firearms.

They had been searching for Hammond since Dec. 2, when he was accused of shooting an acquaintance in the lower leg.

Rushing said the shooting occurred on Wellman Drive between Bogue Chitto and East Lincoln following a dispute by the two men over some property. The shooting was at the home of the mutual friend, Rushing said.

Prosecutors had originally indicted and charged Hammond with murder for the 2010 shooting death of 45-year-old William “Bubba” Thompson of Bogue Chitto at the residence of Thompson’s daughter, Gena Thompson.

At trial, defense attorney Joe Fernald claimed the killing was in self-defense, alleging Thompson was angry the night of his death and had on a prior occasion assaulted Hammond.

On the night of the shooting, Hammond hid in a back bedroom when Thompson entered the house. According to court records, when Thompson came into the bedroom where Hammond was, he shot Thompson in the side.

Hammond was sentenced in January 2011 to a 20-year prison term with five to serve for the fatal shooting.

A jury found Hammond guilty of manslaughter at the conclusion of a two-day murder trial.

In 2013, the state Court of Appeals upheld the manslaughter conviction.