News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Suspect stole woman’s TV
A Vicksburg man may spend the next 60 years behind bars for raping a woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis and then stealing her television.
The Vicksburg Post reported that Eddie Lee Harris was sentenced by Warren County Circuit Judge M. James Chaney to 40 years in prison for rape and 20 years for burglary. The sentences are to run concurrently. Under Mississippi law, Harris must serve every day of his 40-year rape sentence before he is eligible for release.
Harris was convicted Feb. 27.
Prosecutors say Harris kicked in the door on a side porch to get inside the woman’s home on Oct. 26, 2011. He then beat and raped the woman and stole her television.
Harris’ cousin, Charles Harris, is awaiting trial on accessory after the fact to burglary.
Hattiesburg hospital to build $5M hospice facility
Forrest General Hospital plans to open a 12-patient hospice facility for the terminally ill by mid-2015.
The Hattiesburg American reports the Hospice House of South Mississippi will be built on five acres of donated land.
Officials with the Forrest General Healthcare Foundation announced a capital campaign
to raise $5 million to build the Hospice House. Foundation President Bill Oliver says $1.5 million has already been raised, with $700,000 of that contributed by hospital employees.
Oliver said foundation officials hope to raise the rest of the funds from community members and businesses over the next 18 months.
Trial to be moved in utility worker’s death
A Clarke County judge has agreed to move the trial of a man charged in the death of a utility worker while he considers a defense motion to move the case out of Quitman.
Keith Davis faces one count of murder in the death of Nathan Baker. Baker, an East Mississippi Electric Power Association employee, had gone to Davis’ house last June to turn off the electricity for nonpayment.
Prosecutors say Baker’s body was dumped in Wayne County.
WTOK-TV in Meridian reports that Circuit Judge Robert Bailey granted a change of venue but has not announced a new location for the trial.
Defense attorneys sought a change of venue because of pretrial news coverage.
Judge sets trial in suit against ex-police chief
A judge has scheduled a 2014 trial in a civil lawsuit against a former Mendenhall police chief who’s also facing criminal extortion charges.
Felipe De Jesus Negrete’s lawsuit says Bruce Barlow jailed him for a week in 2010 without formal charges. Negrete says he was forced to sign over thousands of dollars in cash and property in exchange for his release.
U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball scheduled the trial for March 3, 2014.
Barlow was indicted in February on eight criminal counts, including extortion.
The criminal complaint lists the alleged victims only by initials. Negrete’s initials and the date of arrest listed in his lawsuit match one of the alleged victims in the criminal case.
Barlow has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.