May 26, 2011 11:57:00 AM
In what family members called a "horrific" armed robbery, five people broke into a Lowndes County house and beat a 70-year-old man with a baseball bat July 18, 2005.
The late Billy Franks, who lived in the 800 block of New Hope Road with his wife, Sherry, was able to chase the robbers from the house after his wife tossed him a .38-caliber handgun he kept under his pillow.
The robbers took items and caused damaged to the home worth a combined $1,100. Franks suffered a broken arm.
Five people were charged with the aggravated assault and armed robbery, but 24-year-old Tomarcus Monte "Tooty" Fulks is claiming in his Lowndes County Circuit Court retrial this week that he was just along for the ride, didn''t even get out of the car and had no previous knowledge of the crime.
His previous conviction was thrown out because of filing errors, according to District Attorney Forrest Allgood''s office.
Allgood argued Wednesday that even if Fulks had stayed in the car, he was still complicit -- a charge defense attorneys denied.
But the trial was muddied Wednesday evening, when defense attorney Chokwe Lumumba, of the Lumumba and Freelon law firm in Jackson, claimed Kitchens had displayed irritation and bias against the defense throughout the trial.
"His rulings have been totally lopsided," Lumumba said, adding that he doesn''t respect judges who show such bias.
Lumumba made a motion to declare a mistrial and to have the charges against his client dropped Wednesday evening. Kitchens denied both motions, sending the trial into its third day today.
Kitchens declined to comment on the record about Lumumba''s comments.
Allgood denied that Kitchens had shown bias against the defense, and criticizing Lumumba''s own conduct during the trial.
"What happens, when you act in an outrageous fashion all the time ... it can make things look unfair," he said.
Allgood brought a series of witnesses up Tuesday and Wednesday, and Lumumba brought up one witness, Faulks'' ex-girlfriend.
Today, Lumumba planned to call Lowndes County Deputy Clint Sims to the stand before both sides give their closing arguments.
Allegra Young, Katherine Williams, Leah Lafayette and Joshua Glenn are the other defendants.
trying2survive commented at 5/26/2011 8:56:00 PM:
I really don't understand WHY this case is back in court costing tax payers money and this family MORE pain!! These people inflicked pain, suffering and fear on this family for the rest of their lives and should be given maximum sentencing with NO CHANCE FOR PAROL!!!
mrslady commented at 5/26/2011 11:05:00 PM:
I WOULD LIKE THE PERSON THAT PUT THIER INSITE ON THIS CASE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE SAYING??? FIRST OF ALL YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!! IF YOU KNEW THE WHOLE STORY BEHIND THIS CASE THEN YOU COULD SAY SOMETHING, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW THE TRUTH SO DON'T TRY AND JUDGE THESE YOUNG KIDS, TRUE THEY DID WRONG AND YES THEY SHOULD BE PUNISHED BUT NOT FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!!!! EVERYBODY HAVE MADE A MISTAKE IN THIER LIFE BEFORE I HAVE AND YOU HAVE TOO NO IS PREFECT BECAUSE IF WE WERE THEN WE WOULD BE GOD!!! THAT IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY PPPL ARE ALWAYS PASSING ON JUDGEMENT ON OTHER PPL,,, I CAN SPEAK ON THIS CASE BECAUSE I KNOW ABOUT!!! DO YOU KNOW?? OR ARE YOU JUST SAYING SOMETHING BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU KNOW???
kj commented at 5/27/2011 11:04:00 AM:
Filing errors, eh?
There are two sad aspects to this story: the first is that we are conducting a trial six YEARS after the crime; the second is that an annoyed, biased judge is completely believable. I won't be surprised if we see yet another trial.
trying2survive commented at 5/27/2011 1:42:00 PM:
Oh yes ma'am Mrs. Lady!!! I DO have first hand knowledge of this case. I have made mistakes, this is true, but I have NEVER broke in on and beat poor crippled good people with baseball bats with knives taped to them!!!! That takes someone with no consense so plzzzzz do go ahead and past judgement on my opinion.
mrslady commented at 5/28/2011 3:16:00 PM:
@TRYING TO SURVIVE, FIRST OF ALL THEM KIDS DID TAPE THESE PPL UP WITH NO TAPE I DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU GOT THAT FROM BUT I NEVER SAID THAT THESES KIDS SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE BUT WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT THEY DO NOT NEED TO PUT PUT IN JAIL FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE.. THAT IS NONE SINCE. YOU GOT PPL OUT HERE THAT WILL GO OUT AND KILL SOMEONE AND GET LESS TIME THEN THAT. PPL IN COLUMBUS ARE NOT RIGHT BUT THEY WILL THRIW YOUNG KIDS AWAY BEFORE THEY WILL A GROWN UP. YOU GOT PPL OUT HERE DOING ""METH"" AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS GOIUNG ON TOO STRONG IN COLUMBUS BUT THEY GET LESS TIME BUT YOU CAN SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT THE LORD WILL NOT LET THESES KIDS SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIFE IN JAIL FOR THIS... SO YOU CAN SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT THIS MAKES NO SINCE!!!! WHEN THE PEOPLE OF LOWNDES COUNTY STOP VOTING THEM 2 MEN BACK IN OFFICE THEN THE PEOPLE OF COLUMBUS WILL HAVE A BETTER CHANCE WHEN THEY GET IN TROUBLE BUT UNTIL THEN WE ARE MESSED UP!!!!
mrslady commented at 5/28/2011 3:20:00 PM:
@ KJ, YES YOU ARE RIGHT ABOUT ONE THING THAT THE JUDGE THAT IS OVER THIS CASE IS VERY BIAS, HE SHOULD NOT BE OVER NO CASE LIKE THIS BECAUSE HE HAS FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE ON A CASE LIKE THIS, SO HE WILL SEND EVERYBODY THAT AS DONE A CRIME LIKE THIS TO JAIL FOR A VERY LONG TIME!!! AS I SAY WHEN THE PPL OF LOWNDES COUNTY QUIT VOTING THEM BACK IN THEN WE WILL HAVE A FAIR CHANCE,,, I HAVE FAITH THAT THESE KIDS WILL BE HOME REAL SOON!!! OUR KIDS HAVE NO CHANCE IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI!!!! OH THANK YOU FOR NO NOT BEING SO RUDE!!!!!
1. CMSD funding request alarms mayor, council COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
2. Early College High School grows in second year COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Mother arrested after newborn tests positive for drugs STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. 'World Changers' serves Golden Triangle for third year COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Hattiesburg passes over SOCSD official for superintendent STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY