From Staff Reports
(Editor’s Note: For details on the trial from Monday and Tuesday, be sure and pick up a copy of Thursday’s Wayne County News.)
A jury spent roughly 90 minutes deliberating before returning one guilty verdict of first degree murder for one defendant and a not guilty verdict for another defendant, with an outburst at the end disrupting the proceedings.
David Lee Lacey, Jr., was convicted of first degree murder and an additional count. Judge Charles Wright sentenced to life in prison. Wright asked Assistant District Attorney Phillip Weinberg if the state’s position was life in prison the appropriate sentence.
“Yes, your honor,” Weinberg said.
Wright then asked defense attorney Leslie Roussell if he concurred and he responded, “Yes sir.”
The judge individually polled the jurors, with all agreeing that it was the verdict they had agreed upon for Lacey.
Prior to Lacey’s sentencing, the jurors found Demarco Quentrell Felps not guilty on the charges he was facing.
Both men had been charged with both capital murder and armed robbery. Lacey was found not guilty on the armed robbery charge.
Judge Wright immediately dismissed Felps from custody and ordered Sheriff Jody Ashley to file the appropriate paperwork to begin the dismissal process.
As Felps was being escorted from the courtroom, an outburst was heard from the hallway and the jailor accompanying Felps was heard to say, “He just knocked the piss out of the wall.”
The judge then called for a recess and asked to be told what had happened in the hallway, which leads to the jail. He was briefed privately.
Felps’ defense attorney, Jeannene Pacific, made the comment in the courtroom during recess that her client had been in jail for three-and-a-half years. Judge Wright told Pacific, “We are not having this discussion.”
At that point, Lacey was taken back to the jail. Judge Wright then ordered the Sheriff to begin the process of transferring Lacey to the Mississippi Department of Corrections and to hold him in custody until the transfer could take place.
Ashley asked Weinberg to look at the damage done to the wall in the hallway in order to determine if any charges should be pursued in the matter.