An Oktibbeha County Circuit Court judge on Friday lowered the bond for murder suspect Dennis Thompson, who is facing possible indictment by the Grand Jury on in the May 22 shooting death of a 25-year-old man and the wounding of three others outside a downtown area graduation party.
Three days after his arrest, Municipal Court Judge Rodney Faver set bond for Thompson, 18, at $150,000 on the murder charge and $50,000 for each of the three aggravated assault charges against him for a total bond of $300,000.
In late July, Thompson was bound over to face action by the Grand Jury, which will next convene in January.
On Friday, Thompson’s attorney, Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, successfully argued before Judge Lee Howard that Thompson’s bond should be lowered. Several members of Thompson’s family and others attended the hearing.
Howard reset Thompson’s bond at $75,000 on the murder charge and $20,000 for each of the aggravated assault charges, making his total bond to $135,000.
In order to be released from jail, Thompson must post at least 10 percent of the total bond, or $13,500.
Thompson is charged in the shooting death of 25-year-old Curtis “C.K.” Randle of Starkville and three counts of aggravated assault in the shootings of three others during a reported skirmish at 1:11 a.m. May 22 outside the 124 Place Special Event Center on Douglas Conner Drive just south of Highway 182.
Thompson is accused of firing shots from a .40-caliber handgun into the crowd of people leaving the graduation party at 124 Place at 1:11 a.m. May 22, but police continue to remain largely silent about the circumstances of the incident.
Municipal Court affidavits charging Thompson with the murder and three aggravated assault counts state that he gave a statement confessing to the shootings to police.
Randle was found by police lying on Highway 182, having been shot in the chest.
One of the two female shooting victims was wounded in the right arm and abdomen, the other was struck in the right thigh. The male shooting victim was wounded in the abdomen.
All required varying levels of treatment at OCH Regional Medical Center.
Thompson turned himself in to police less than three hours after the shootings.
His family members have contended that Thompson fired the handgun to defend himself against an assault from several reported gang members who had been harassing him for the last few years.
His family has said previously Thompson picked up the gun from the ground and began firing it after one of those who were assaulting them. The gun belonged to one of those assaulting Thompson, his family said.
Starkville police detectives have said there were many witnesses to the incident, but have not commented publicly on the claims by Thompson’s family.