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Oktibbeha County Circuit Court term beginning Monday

January 27, 2013

By NATHAN GREGORY
citybeat@starkvilledailynews.com

Oktibbeha County Circuit Court will begin hearing criminal court cases Monday during its winter term.

More than 200 sentencing, revocations, hearings, calls and trials are tentatively scheduled on the docket from Monday through Feb. 8, and those are divided between Judges Lee Coleman, Lee Howard and Jim Kitchens.

According to a schedule provided by Oktibbeha County Circuit Court, Coleman will hear one murder trial — Mississippi vs. Dennis Thompson — while Kitchens will preside over a manslaughter trial — Mississippi vs. Lijames Halbert.

Calls for three murder suspects in connection to a March 2012 shooting on the Mississippi State University campus will be before Howard. Those suspects are Duntae Harvey, Trent Crump and Mason Perry Jones. They are charged with the murder of 21-year-old John Sanderson of Madison in an MSU dormitory.

Thompson is charged in the May 22, 2010 shooting incident outside a Douglas Conner Drive venue that killed 25-year-old Curtis “C.K.” Randle, of Starkville, and seriously injured there others.

The shootings in which Thompson is charged occurred early that morning after a graduation party had ended at the 124 Place Special Event Center on Douglas Conner Drive just south of Miss. Highway 182. He is accused of firing shots from a .40-caliber handgun into a crowd of people leaving the party. His case has been continued repeatedly since the shooting.
His trial is scheduled for Monday.

Thompson also has an unrelated aggravated assault charge stemming from a shooting incident at Yellow Jacket Mobile Home Park in November 2012 in which a victim was shot once.

Kitchens is also scheduled to preside over the trial of Austin Poole, who faces six counts of aggravated DUI in connection with a car wreck on Oktoc Road in May 2012 that killed 19-year-old Treasure Huffman of Starkville and injured six others.

Howard is scheduled to hear the trial of Lance Kennedy, who is charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance and sale of a controlled substance. Former MSU student Teresa Veal, 19, was found dead at Kennedy’s apartment in February 2012. Investigators ruled her death an accidental drug overdose caused by a lethal ingestion of heroin and cocaine.

Kennedy’s charges include possession of marijuana, Xanax, heroin and cocaine.

The docket also includes numerous felony DUI, domestic violence, aggravated assault, embezzlement, rape and grand larceny charges among others. Several drug charges are also on the docket and vary from sale of hydrocodone to possession of cocaine.

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