Murder, fraud cases on Lowndes County Circuit Court docket

May 12, 2010 10:51:00 AM



Several high-profile cases are on the docket for Lowndes County Circuit Court this month, including two murder trials and the fraud case of Tommy Parker, former owner of Parker Kia on Highway 45 North. 


The May 16th Circuit Court session started in Lowndes County on Monday, with mostly drug cases. 


Later in the session, Judge Jim Kitchens is slated to hear the case of Parker, who was arrested in March 2009. He was charged with sale of encumbered property without disclosing the lender for selling customer trade-ins and without paying off debt customers owed on the vehicles. 


Before his Kia dealership closed, Parker had operated the business for more than 10 years. 


Parker''s arrest came about three months after he shut the dealership''s doors and removed his inventory from the lot in an attempt to "reconsolidate some things," he previously said. Parker''s trial is set for May 18. His attorney is James Roger Franks. 




Firefighter appeal 


Judge Lee Howard will hear the case of Mitchell Banks, a former city firefighter who was terminated for being drunk while at a professional development conference. 


Banks was terminated Dec. 7 by the Columbus City Council for allegedly missing hazardous material training sessions in Pearl because he was too drunk to participate. s 


The Columbus Civil Service Commission upheld the council''s termination. The next step in the appeals process is circuit court; Banks is represented by attorney Rod Ray. 




Murder trials 


On May 24, Kitchens will preside over the case of Rennie Gibbs, who is charged with the cocaine death of her unborn child. Gibbs was arrested in 2006 at age 16 after her baby was stillborn from a cocaine overdose. Authorities decided to try Gibbs as an adult under the state''s depraved heart murder law. 


Her attorney is Carrie Jourdan. 


The same day, Howard will preside over the capital murder trial of Sylvester Johnson. 


Johnson of Aberdeen is accused of killing Clarence "Big C" Trimble in October 2009. 


Johnson was arrested in Aberdeen the same month; authorities believe he killed Trimble at his club, Big C''s Game Room on Stinson Creek Road in Lowndes County, during a robbery. 


He is represented by attorney Thomas Fortner.