Murder, fire-setting cases on Lee Circuit docket

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Travon Brown’s double-murder trial is first up April 20 as Circuit Court begins its spring term in Lee County.
Brown, 27, was indicted in August 2012 on two counts that he shot and killed Corneilus Harris, 22, and Felisha Ruffin, 36, on Sept. 28, 2011, at a Chapman Street residence.
New public defender Adam Pinkard likely will try to prove self-defense and cast doubts on the state’s evidence. Assistant District Attorney Brian Neely will prosecute for the state.
Judge Jim Seth Pounds will preside over the trial.
Brown pleaded not guilty and continues to be held on $1 million bond in the Lee County Jail.
A second murder case accuses James Williams of Tupelo of shooting Everett Ray Foster with a rifle last Oct. 12. Williams, 43, is in the Lee County Jail on $50,00 bond.
March 5, his attorney Kelly Mims of Tupelo filed an initial request for various information about witnesses, other alleged evidence or any material which might help his client.
ADA John Weddle will represent the state as prosecutor.
Also on the docket for call May 13 is the case against Christopher Mink, charged with five counts including aggravated assault, kidnapping, mayhem and setting the woods on fire.
Mink, 43, of Baldwyn is accused in the Sept. 15, 2012, injury to Norma Leann Horn. Held on $1 million bond since his March 6 arraignment, he is accused of kidnapping her, tying her up and setting her afire. The wooded property fire he is accused of setting is alleged to be behind 382 CR 2890, Baldwyn.
Booneville attorney Ronald Michael represents Mink. Weddle is assigned to prosecute.
Since pre-trial motions have just been filed in both the Williams and Mink cases, it’s unlikely their trials will be held during the upcoming court term.
Another case on the docket delayed until further order is the 2012 indictment against Wesley Brandon of Belden. He is accused of DUI-death in the May 14, 2011, vehicular death of John E. Bell.
Last May, 32-year-old Brandon had his bond revoked. Attorney Frank Russell represents him. Weddle will prosecute the case.
Brandon awaits sentencing of up to 20 years in prison on a federal guilty plea to a heroin distribution conspiracy. His co-defendants are set for trial April 15.
The April court term docket contains more than 450 cases. Many of them will never go to trial, with defendants and prosecutors working out sentence agreements in exchange for guilty pleas.
patsy.brumfield@journalinc.com