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Early release halted for convicted killer of Miss. cop

 

The Associated Press

 

 

OXFORD -- The head of Mississippi's prison system has decided not to release an inmate convicted in the 2006 killing of a University of Mississippi police officer. 

 

The Mississippi Department of Corrections notified victims, law enforcement agencies and court officials Thursday that Daniel Cummings, 31, would be released from prison July 28 after serving less than half of a 20-year sentence, The Oxford Eagle reported. 

 

On Friday, Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall decided to block Cummings' release after receiving objections from victims and the community, department spokeswoman Grace Simmons Fisher told The Associated Press. Fisher said the department is not allowed to publicly disclose names of registered victims. 

 

Cummings pleaded guilty in 2007 to manslaughter for the dragging death of officer Robert Langley. 

 

Cummings was a second-year University of Mississippi student from Germantown, Tennessee, when Langley pulled him over in traffic on Oct. 21, 2006. 

 

Authorities said Langley reached in and tried to turn off the pickup truck Cummings was driving, and Cummings suddenly pulled away. Langley hit his head when he fell to the ground, and was dragged more than 200 yards. He died hours later at Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. 

 

Prosecutors said Cummings had drugs and alcohol in his system. 

 

District Attorney Ben Creekmore said he would file an objection to Cummings' release from prison. 

 

Langley was a four-year veteran of University Police Department. He also served in the Mississippi Army National Guard as a field artillery soldier, returning home in April 2006 after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. 

 

When Cummings was sentenced, prosecutors said he would have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before being eligible for release. Fisher said people convicted of manslaughter can become eligible for early release consideration by having good conduct and participating in specific types of programs in prison. 

 

State law requires the Department of Corrections to give at least 15 days' notice before an inmate is released from prison. The notice Thursday said Cummings would be released to the custody of his parents, who now live in northern Mississippi's DeSoto County, about 70 miles from Oxford. 

 

In June, Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth, who originally sentenced Cummings in 2007, approved a request by Cummings' attorney Jake Adams to have Cumming's medical records released from the Department of Corrections. 

 

Court documents show Cummings had been undergoing medical treatment while in prison. However, the nature of his condition was not in the records. The request said Cummings planned to continue the medical care and needed to access his records so "detailed plans can be made for the continuation of care and treatment." Fisher said she did not know details about Cummings' illness. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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