Six more indicted in murders of Hattiesburg police officers

January 13, 2016 in News, The Buzz

Tate and Deen

Tate and Deen

HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (AP) — Six more suspects have been indicted in the deaths of two Hattiesburg Police officers.

Indictments Tuesday were handed up against 26-year-old Curtis Banks, 29-year-old Abram Franklin, 19-year-old Anquanette Alexander, 21-year-old Douglas McPhail, 22-year-old Jimmy Brady Jr. and 28-year-old Cornelius Clark.

WDAM-TV reports Banks was charged with accessory after the fact of capital murder; Franklin and Clark for hindering prosecution in the first degree; Alexander and McPhail each for conspiracy and hindering prosecution in the first degree; and Brady for the sale of a stolen firearm.

Those indictments and two handed up Monday against 22-year-old Joanie Calloway and 25-year-old Broderick Varnado Sr. bring to eight charged in the May 9 murder of Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate. Police said they were killed after Deen pulled over a speeding car driven by the girlfriend of a ninth suspect, Marvin Banks. Tate had arrived as backup.

Deen was shot in the face; Tate, in the lower back. Both officers were wearing bullet-resistant vests that couldn’t protect them against the gunshots.

Marvin Banks, who faced two counts of capital murder, was found dead in his Forrest County jail cell on Dec. 11. Coroner Butch Benedict said the autopsy revealed Banks died of severe heart disease, and no foul play was suspected.

Calloway and Varnado appeared before Judge Bob Helfrich on Monday.

Calloway was indicted for attempted accessory after the fact to capital murder and hindering prosecution and Varnado for accessory after the fact to capital murder and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

A May 10 trial date was set for Calloway, who’s free on $35,000 bond. Varnado’s trial is set for May 12. He is free on $90,000 bond.

Trial dates for the others have not been set.