A Starkville man accused of plotting the murder of a man outside of an apartment complex earlier this year has been given prison time in what appears to be an unrelated case.

Henry Neal

Henry Neal, Jr.

According to court documents, Circuit Judge Lee Coleman on Thursday sentenced 27-year-old Henry Lee Neal, Jr. to eight years in prison for a single felony count of selling cocaine.

Neal was arrested on Feb. 11 and charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting death of 33-year-old Joseph Turnipseed, Jr.

Turnipseed, a resident of the Blackjack community, was found dead several days before of an apparent gunshot wound after police responded to a shots fired call at West Main Arms apartments at the intersection of West Main Street and South Long Street.

Neal has an extensive criminal record, previously serving prison time for armed robbery along with domestic violence convictions.

In the drug case, Neal was indicted on three separate counts of selling cocaine in an amount greater than 0.1 grams but less than 2 grams.

Neal pleaded guilty to two of the counts earlier in the week and was sentenced on Thursday for a single count.

SPD detectives previously presented evidence in court alleging Neal had approached multiple people, offering $5,000 to assist in killing Turnipseed, although they each declined to participate.

For more on this story, read Saturday's Starkville Daily News.

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