Marvin Harris

In June of 2003, Marvin Harris was indicted, alleging that he stole a 2000 Ford Expedition on or about February 2nd, 2003 [1].  His arraignment set for August 22.[2]

The motion to set bond, filed by Harris’s attorney, Marc E. Brand, was made November 10 and included the line, “Marvin Harris has no prior offenses.”[3]

Harris was only required to pay $1,000 in order to be released on a $10,000 bond.  The release was ordered by Circuit Judge Swan Yerger on November 14.[4]  Harris’s previous arrest record is lengthy.[5]

At about 11:30 a.m. on January 1, 2004 , Carriel Frank Hedgepeth was sitting in his car at BancorpSouth on the McDowell Road Extension calling relatives on his cellular phone.  Hedgepeth, an ATM repairman, was waiting for a part to arrive so that he could service the BancorpSouth ATM when he was pulled out of his car and shot in the head.  His Ford Focus was stolen, then recovered, burned, from a wooded area on Clinton Boulevard the next day.

Hedgepeth was 46 with two children, a 22-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter in Hattiesburg .  Hedgepeth, a 17-year Army veteran who served during Operation Desert Storm, began working for Diebold after he suffered a heart attack and could no longer drive 18-wheelers.[6]  Hedgepeth died for the shot to the head and Marvin Harris, free on bond, was convicted of murder.

Hedgepeth’s family expressed outrage over the system.  Valeria Walters, of Clinton, was “angry” and “upset” when told of Harris’s string of arrests.  “It is hard to understand that we have a system where someone goes in and out of jail so quickly and they do not get the time they deserve.  I certainly wish he had still been in jail.  My brother would still be alive,” said Walters.[7]

Yerger finally revoked the bond on January 16, 2004 for the charge of capital murder.[8]

A grand jury handed down an indictment on or about April 7, 2004 for the murder of Carriel Frank Hedgepeth in violation of Section 97-3-19(2)(e), Mississippi Code, 1972 while engaging in the commission of robbery in violation of Section 97-3-79, Mississippi Code of 1972 Annotated.[9]

Harris, on October 21, 2005, pleaded that he “did willfully [and] unlawfully kill a human being with or with deliberate design to effect the death of person killed” and that he “on or about Jan. 1, 2004 did shot [sic] Carriel Hedgepeth while robbing him.”[10]

Harris was sentenced to life with parole by Judge Tomie T. Green on October 24, 2005 [11] and was committed that same day to the Department of Corrections for the state of Mississippi .[12]  This tragedy could have been avoided.

[1] Order of Grand Jurors for the State of Mississippi , May Term, A.D., 2003. First Judicial District of Hinds County , Criminal Case # 03-0-497 WSY.

[2] Order of W. Swan Yerger, August 22, 2003 , First Judicial District of Hinds County, Docket 517 Page 722.

[3] Motion to set bond.  Marc E. Brand, attorney, November 10, 2003 , First Judicial District of Hinds County, Cause # 03-0-497.

[4] Order of W. Swan Yerger, Circuit Judge, November 14, 2003 .  First Judicial District of Hinds County , cause # 03-0-497-00 WSY.

[5] See Appendix “A” attached

[6] Clarion-Ledger:  Gates, Jimmie.  “Man gets life after guilty plea in ’04 murder of ATM repairman.”  October 25, 2005 .

[7] Clarion-Ledger:  Hudson, Jeremy.  “Man Held in ATM Slaying.”  January 11, 2004 .

[8] Order to revoke bond.  W. Swan Yerger, Circuit Judge, January 16, 2004 .  Dock 528 page 518.

[9] Order of Grand Jurors for the State of Mississippi , March Term, A.D., 2004.  First Judicial District of Hinds County Circuit Court .  Circuit Court # 04-0-289CRG.

[10] Petition to enter a plea of guilty:  First Judicial District of Hinds County Circuit Court, case # 04-0-289. October 21, 2005 .

[11] Order of Tomie T. Green, Circuit Judge, October 24, 2005 .  First Judicial District of Hinds County , case number 04-0-289-00 TTG.

[12] Prisoner Commitment Notice.  Mississippi Department of Corrections for Hinds County October 24, 2005 .