October 26, 2010 12:31:00 PM
A Starkville man who walked out of Oktibbeha County Circuit Court last week prior to his trial on drug charges turned himself in to authorities Sunday night.
Peruzo K. Duck, 32, of 123 Long Street, was considered a fugitive after he left the Oktibbeha County Courthouse Thursday just before his trial began on one count of possession of cocaine and one count of sale of cocaine. Deemed an habitual offender due to two prior felony convictions, a jury found Duck guilty again Thursday, even though he wasn''t in the courtroom. A warrant was then issued for Duck''s arrest and the search for him began. Duck had been free on a $10,000 bond and wasn''t in custody when he left the courthouse.
"Just like anybody else who is out on bond, he could come and go," said Oktibbeha County Sheriff''s Office Deputy Commander Mahyar Netadj. "He wasn''t in custody, so it''s not like he escaped."
The Sheriff''s Office heard rumors Duck was planning to flee to Atlanta, Netadj said. Family and friends, however, talked Duck into surrendering at the Oktibbeha County Sheriff''s Office Sunday night, Netadj said.
Although Duck already has been convicted, no sentencing date has been set. He faces up to 32 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Netadj said.
Duck had rejected a plea deal for a lesser sentence prior to walking out of court. No additional charges have been filed for leaving prior to his trial.
Duck was convicted in 1997 for sale of cocaine and attempted burglary of a business. He was sentenced to 10 years in the MDOC for the cocaine charge and three years for the burglary charge. It is unclear how much time he served.
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