Courthouse & Gavel

An armed robbery trial that was set for May 28 is off the Jones County Circuit Court’s trial schedule after a plea deal was reached on Tuesday, May 21.

Christopher Luker pleaded guilty to the robbery of the Roses store in Laurel, his place of employment when the crime occurred. That crime took place in December 2016. For his role in the robbery, Luker was sentenced to 20 years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 10 years to serve, the balance of time suspended, and five years post release supervision. He was also ordered to pay courts costs and fees of $1667.50.

In other cases heard by the Circuit Court Judge Dal Williamson Tuesday:

*Jason T. Davis was approved for Drug Court. He was charged with possession of meth and felony fleeing.

*Zachary Trent McKinnon was approved for Drug Court. His charge was possession of meth.

*A bench warrant was issued for Christopher Chisholm after he did not appear before the Court as scheduled on an attempted burglary of a dwelling charge.

*Jacques Bass was sentenced to the MDOC for three years, with one year to serve and three years of post release supervision, and ordered to pay $3917.50 in court costs and fees plus restitution. Her charge was uttering forgery.

*David Randall Eubanks pled guilty to grand larceny and received a jail term of five total years, with three to serve and two years of post release supervision. The total fines and restitution he must pay eclipsed $4400.00.

*A bench warrant was issued for Hannah Leigh Beasley, who failed to appear before the court for a plea hearing on the charge of felonious child endangerment.

*House arrest was approved for Brandy Watson after she pled guilty to possession of meth. Her complete sentence entails eight years with the MDOC, with four years of house arrest, four years of post release supervision, and the balance of the time suspended if she satisfactorily fulfills the court’s orders.

*Daryl Anthony Vanish pleaded guilty to the charge of “obtaining thing of value with intent to defraud” and was given nine years with the MDOC, with four years to serve and the balance suspended if he successfully completes five years of post release supervision. The total court costs and restitution he must pay exceeded $8,300.00.

*Ricky Lavon Dean was sentenced to five total years with the MDOC with 18 months to serve and the balance suspended, if he successfully completes two years of post release supervision. He was also ordered to pay $4,417.50 in courts costs and restitution after he pled guilty to burglary of a non-dwelling. A second charge of extortion was dismissed.

*Jeffrey Wade Smith appeared before the Court for a bond review. He is charged with breaking and entering a dwelling, possession of a firearm by a felon, and burglary of inner door. Judge Williamson left his bond amount at $20,000.

*Luther Douglas Mills appeared before the judge for a multiple-count charge of burglary of a commercial building. His bond had previously been set at $35,000. The Court heard that Mills had sent a letter to the District Attorney’s Office requesting a waive of indictment and a desire to work out a plea deal.

*The judge refused to review a felony bond for Lisa Myers (Kepley), noting that it had taken a long time to find her on an earlier bench warrant. She is charged with possession of meth.

*Two cases were dismissed by the Court due to violation of the defendant’s right to a speedy trial. Ashley Wheaton, who was charged with two counts of false pretense, and Derrell Antonio Keys, who was facing an armed robbery allegation, both had their cases thrown out due to long delays in them being served their indictments. The delay in Wheaton being served her indictment was over 10 years, and nearly six years elapsed before Keys was served.

*Felton John Heath was sent to the Restitution Center to work off some of the court costs and fines that was part of his original sentence stemming from charges of conspiracy and grand larceny. Heath told Judge Williamson that he had endured periods of homelessness and destitution due to having no means of transportation. According to his own testimony Tuesday, Heath did work for about six months in 2018 as a mechanic in Waynesboro, where he was also provided lodging, but he quit that job because he didn’t feel like his net pay justified his continued employment.

The Court heard that he had not reported for community service, which was part of his sentence, since December 8, 2018, and had not made any payments since August 2018. After his 90 days at the Restitution Center, Heath will remain under post release supervision and still owe whatever balance remains of the $2,517.00 financial obligation he currently has to the Court.

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