Second man pleads in shooting death

Staff Writer

A 26-year-old Starkville man is sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the Oct. 2, 2015 death of a West Point man.

Tevin Hodges pleaded guilty in Clay County Circuit Court to accessory after the fact to murder in the death of 20-year-old Chaderick Strong. Earlier this week, 32-year-old Neb "Slim" Townsend pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the case and was sentenced to 30 years.

Hodges has been in jail since his arrest on Oct. 5, 2015, and will get credit for the time he has served.

Strong died during a drug transaction that went awry inside a unit at Point Place apartments. Townsend was pistol-whipping Strong with a handgun when the gun went off, shooting Strong in the head.

Hodges was present and helped cover up the crime, investigators said.

Accessory charges still are pending against a third man, Jarvis Williams.

In other Circuit Court action:

-- Frank Weatherspoon, 54, of Maben, was sentenced to 30 years with 14 suspended leaving 16 to serve, for possession of cocaine with intent to sell. Weatherspoon was arrested on June 11, 2015 after drug agents searched his home and found 18 grams of cocaine. Thirty years is the maximum sentence. As part of the plea agreement, Weatherspoon was not sentenced as a habitual offender, which would have increased the amount of time he would have to spend in prison. He has several prior convictions, including possession with intent to sell in Illinois, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and selling cocaine in Mississippi and a federal conspiracy conviction. Based on current laws and policies, Weatherspoon could be out of prison in four years;

-- Rufus Lewis, 61, of Maben, was given a suspended one-year sentence and non-adjudicated probation for possession of methamphetamine. He has a prior conspiracy conviction in Lee County. He also must make a $500 contribution to the state's Victims Compensation Fund;

-- William Harrington, 58, of Aberdeen, was sentenced to three years, suspended to 12 months in the Clay County Jail, and a $250 restitution for drug testing after pleading guilty o possession of methamphetamine. He was arrested on Aug. 3, 2016;

-- Tommy Gandy, 35, was ruled mentally competent to stand trial for kidnapping, simple assault on a law enforcement officer and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. His trial was set for July 16, 2018. It's taken almost four years to get his mental examination completed. He is charged in connection with a, Aug. 21, 2014 incident where he held David Calvert, threatened Sheriff's Chief Deputy Ramirez Williams with a shotgun and fired the gun at Deputy Terry Scott;

-- A July 16, 2018 hearing date also was set for 36-year-old Derek Summerall who is charged with armed robbery in the Jan. 20, 2015 robbery of the Texaco on Highway 45 Alternate in West Point. Summerall made a $40,000 bond in June 2016 and then disappeared but was located recently and returned to jail pending trial.

-- Payton Free, 32, was sentenced to 10 years with six suspended and four to serve for felon in possession of a weapon. Despite having prior drug and weapons convictions in Lee County and prior auto burglary convictions in Clay County, he was not sentenced as a habitual offender. Free was arrested on Sept. 30, 2015 in possession of a Ruger 9 mm handgun;

--Lakeechia Edwards, 42, was given three years non-adjudicated probation and ordered to pay $2,212.77 in restitution to two banks for uttering forgery. Two counts of ID fraud were retired. The charges stemmed from checks she forged on June 28, 2013 on the account of Jeffrey and Cheryl Pittman.