By JB Clark
BOONEVILLE – Jeremy Huguley received a 40-year sentence Thursday for the 2010 murder of 45-year-old Steven Holley.
Huguley, 24, of Rienzi, also received 25 years for burglary to be served concurrent to the other sentence. Circuit Court Judge James L. Roberts Jr. stipulated Huguley receive long-term therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation while in prison.
Huguley had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Feb. 24 and to burglary last year.
He was the last witness to take the stand in his sentencing hearing and, with the help of his attorney, Lori Nail Basham, recounted the drug-induced week leading up the murder and robbery of Holley. He then apologized to Holley’s family.
Huguley talked about doing meth and other drugs for a few days with his girlfriend and co-defendant David Burleson before going to Holley’s house in the Thrasher community, where they did more meth. Huguley said he was shooting meth in Holley’s bedroom and when he returned to the living room, he saw Holley lying on the floor. Huguley then hit Holley in the face with his fist and took money from him. When Holley tried to get up, Huguley said Burleson struck Holley in the head with a pipe, causing Holley to fall unconscious and bleed on the living room floor.
His sister, Brianna Huguley, and grandmother and adopted legal guardian, Ruth Shadburn, testified that Huguley was never violent, but Shadburn said something changed after he graduated high school and began doing drugs more heavily. Huguley admitted he had been doing serious drugs since he was 14 and had helped his father steal drugs at an even earlier age.
Huguley’s attorneys established his parents were in and out of prison for drug use his entire life, and he was a victim of the drug culture they established in the home.
Prentiss County Sheriff Randy Tolar said Huguley has been on lockdown in the jail for more than 10 months due to possession of drugs and bullying inmates in jail.
Basham said she was happy they were able to reduce Huguley’s sentence from the original capital murder charge, which carried a life sentence and the possibility of the death penalty.
District Attorney Trent Kelly said he believes the Holley family received a sense of closure after Huguley received the maximum sentence for second-degree murder.
Burleson was convicted in 2012 and received life.