Prison leaders deny release for deputy’s killer

Earnest Conrod

By Monica Land

JACKSON – State prison officials have denied a medical release for a man who shot and killed a Leflore County sheriff’s deputy in 1994.

At one point, due to an unstated medical condition, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) had considered allowing 79-year-old Earnest Conrod to leave prison, the Greenwood Commonwealth reported.

Conrod was sentenced to life after pleading guilty in part to avoid the possibility of execution.

MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps said inmates are routinely considered for medical release when they become bed-ridden. Such releases can save the prison system money on extensive medical treatment.

The widow of Deputy Melvin “Buster” Brown, who Conrod killed, had opposed the release. Shirley Brown-Newell, the widow, had rallied opposition to Conrod’s release after receiving a letter stating it was possible. Brown’s son, Paul, said Conrod’s initial sentence had eliminated the possibility of parole and the family had expected him to die in prison for his crime.

Epps said he almost always sides with the wishes of the victim’s family.

Conrod murdered Brown in 1994 when the 45-year-old deputy responded to a domestic dispute at Conrod’s home west of Itta Bena.

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