Two suspects arraigned in slaying of Hattiesburg Police officers

January 12, 2016 in News, The Buzz

Joanie Calloway (left) and Broderick Varnado Hattiesburg Police Department

Joanie Calloway (left) and Broderick Varnado
Hattiesburg Police Department

HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (AP) — Two of the nine people accused in the May shooting death of two Hattiesburg Police officers have been arraigned.

WDAM-TV reports 22-year-old Joanie Calloway and 25-year-old Broderick Varnado Sr. were arraigned Monday before Judge Bob Helfrich in connection to the May 9 murder of Officers Benjamin J. Deen and Liquori Tate.

Calloway, who authorities say was the girlfriend of the accused shooter Marvin Banks, was driving the car when the shooting occurred, was charged in a multi-count indictment for attempted accessory after the fact to capital murder and hindering prosecution. She pleaded not guilty and remained free on $35,000 bond. A trial date was set for May 10.

According to the indictment, Count 1 attempted accessory the fact of capital murder, Calloway did design and endeavor to commit the offense, she did intend to transport Marvin Banks from the crime scene in order for him to avoid discovery and apprehension, and did an overt act toward the commission thereof, to wit, yelled repeatedly for Marvin Banks to get into her vehicle; but she failed therein, in that Marvin Banks did not respond to her urging so she left the scene without him.

The indictment continues, Count 2, hindering prosecution, did intend to hinder the apprehension of Marvin Banks, deceived law enforcement officers to the identity of the said Marvin Banks, knowing that Marvin Banks was wanted by said law enforcement officers for the felony charge of capital murder.

Varndao was charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He also pleaded not guilty and remained free on $90,000 bond. His trial was set for May 12.

According to the indictment, Count 1, Varnado did feloniously conceal, aid and assist Marvin Banks knowing said Marvin Banks had committed the felony of capital murder with the intent to enable said Marvin Banks to avoid arrest, trial, conviction or punishment after commission of such felony, by disposing of the murder weapon, being a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun.

The indictment continues with Count 2, stating that Varnado on May 9, 2015, did feloniously poses a firearm, to-wit, a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun, at the time when he had previously been convicted of sexual battery on Aug. 4, 2014, in Forrest County.