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March 3, 2009
A Brooksville man who threw the people of Columbus into a state of panic for a few hours last year has been sentenced to 38 years in jail.
Lennell Hearn, 70, who stood accused of shooting and wounding his wife Dorothy Hearn, former Columbus City Councilman Kamal Karriem and Columbus Police Department Reserve Officer Guy Taylor Feb. 13 pleaded guilty in Lowndes County Circuit Court to seven charges laid against him.
For one count of aggravated assault, 16th Circuit Judge Jim Kitchens Monday sentenced Hearn to eight years behind bars; for one count of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer he received an additional 30 years.
Another count of aggravated assault, three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of taking of a motor vehicle were retired.
Hearn faced charges for a Feb. 29, 2008, incident beginning at about 5 p.m., when police responded to a shots-fired call from the Soco gas station near 18th Avenue North, in the Town Square shopping center. Witnesses had called 911 to report hearing gunshots.
Upon arrival, police discovered Hearn wielding a pistol earlier having shot his wife and Karriem. Hearn then exchanged gunfire with Taylor and CPD Chief Joe St. John, who had been working out at the nearby Fitness Factor when the incident began. Taylor was shot three times.
Hearn then stole Taylor''s police cruiser and fled northward on Highway 45 North to a small wooded area near the Best Western Hotel. It was near a private residence in the area, where CPD Lt. Keith Worshaim shot Hearn in the back of the head.
The wound was not fatal, and Hearn was taken to University Medical Center in Jackson where he later recovered and was arrested.
Trials in the case have been delayed in the past, pending Hearn''s mental evaluations and a recent medical problem.
After some time in a mental health facility in Jackson, Hearn in December 2008 was deemed competent to stand trial.
justice commented at 3/3/2009 4:14:00 PM:
Wow! 38 years in jail for shooting 3 people who all could have died! But drug dealers get 20 to 25 years for selling drugs in the State of Mississippi. What are we telling our youth go out and shoot people, steal police officers cars etc.... Only in Columbus,Ms will you find this kind of nonsense give harsher sentences to killers not drug dealers its a new generation and its time for all the jim crow era judges and lawyers to retire in ythe state of Mississippi how do they sleep at night and by the way for all you readers I am a white woman for you judgemental thinkers!!!
Chris commented at 3/3/2009 6:52:00 PM:
Instead of running all over on here telling all of us over and over how white you are, you could research something called "mandatory-minimum" sentencing in regards to drug charges...
justice commented at 3/4/2009 12:08:00 PM:
Let me guess you are white to aren't you chris this post is called readers comments which mean you need to comment on the article not me but thanks for telling me something i already know. i know what mandatory sentencing is which is why i say it is unfair to give such harsh sentencing in the stae of mississippi for drug crimes instead of crimes that involve trying to kill people. But anyways thanks for commenting on my comment that was nice of you so go on get back to turning red :-)
Philip Enis commented at 3/4/2009 2:08:00 PM:
Justice, Hearn received 38 years for shooting two people. The State chose not to prosecute the remaining cases as part of a plea agreement with the defendant. Under Mississippi's current probation eligibility law he will have to serve approximately half. People convicted of drug offense who receive prison time only serve a quarter of their sentences before they are eligible. Therefore a 25 year drug sentence would amount to about a six year sentence. Only people convicted as habitual offenders and sex offenders must serve mandatory time along with armed robbers. Sounds to me like your gripe is with the legislature.
justice commented at 3/4/2009 2:49:00 PM:
Only in Columbus,Ms will you find this kind of nonsense give harsher sentences to killers not drug dealers its a new generation and its time for all the jim crow era judges and lawyers to retire!!!! And that's final say what you want case closed!!! Find another comment to reply to!!!
Chris commented at 3/4/2009 5:36:00 PM:
justice, mandatory-minimums were started in that great Jim Crow state of New York and spread from there.
And why are you bringing race into every post you make? Methinks you're fibbing about who you really are by doing this. The only thing I turn red over is your inability to grasp the simplest of facts and your failure to understand how the courts and the justice system actually works.
If Mr. Hearn had just left his shooting to the drug addict/failure Kamal it would have done everyone in Lowndes Co. a service. Harsh reality, but there it is.
justice commented at 3/5/2009 11:59:00 AM:
Chris, Chris, Chris that comment you just made proved that i was right and i qoute " If Mr. Hearn had just left his shooting to the drug addict/failure Kamal it would have done everyone in Lowndes Co. a service. Harsh reality, but there it is." you are really crazy aren't you i will pray for people like you its people like you who give columbus a bad name
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