By Hank Wiesner/Southern Sentinel
RIPLEY—A Shannon man has pled guilty to reduced charges in connection with the death of another man – also from Shannon – whose body was found in south Tippah County in November, 2010.
Christopher Clippard, 36, pled guilty July 16 in Chickasaw County Circuit Court to manslaughter without malice in the heat of passion. The charge was reduced from capital murder according to court records. He also pled guilty to grand larceny in connection with the case.
Circuit Judge Robert W. Elliott sentenced Clippard to 20 years with no time suspended on the manslaughter charge, and gave him a 10-year suspended sentence on the grand larceny charge. The two sentences are to run concurrently.
Clippard will be on probation for five years following his release from incarceration. He must also repay $2,834 in fines and restitution within five years of his release, court records indicated.
He was sentenced in connection with the death of David Lee Floyd, 58, aka Buck Wheat, of Shannon.
Maybelle O. White, 39, also of Shannon, remains charged with capital murder in connection with Floyd’s death. She remains jailed without bond.
The three were acquaintances, and the man is related to Floyd, authorities said.
Capital murder is defined as murder committed during the commission of another felony. In this case, the other felony was robbery, according to investigators.
Clippard and White were arrested at the Mississippi Highway Patrol station in New Albany later in November, 2010
Clippard, White and Floyd were acquaintances who lived close to one another in the Shannon area. Clippard and White were described as boyfriend and girlfriend, and the man was Floyd’s second cousin, according to Tippah investigators.
None of the three were employed, and all three had had scrapes with the law over the years, The trio was seen, and recorded on a surveillance camera, riding around in Lee County in a white 1995 Cadillac owned by Clippard’s mother shortly before Floyd was found dead.
“Preliminary autopsy results indicate that Mr. Floyd died from blunt force trauma to the head. Based on the evidence, we’re 99 percent sure Mr. Floyd was killed in Tippah County, and we’ll believe he was killed where he was found unless evidence proves otherwise,” then-Tippah County Investigator Jason Willis said when the pair was arrested. It hasn’t been determined what Floyd was hit with, Willis said at that time.
Clippard and White were caught on security cameras in Memphis after Floyd was killed, using a debit card believed stolen from him to make several minor purchases, Willis said.
Along with Tippah investigators, MBI agents and Lee County investigators worked the case.
The investigation led officers across much of northeast Mississippi and into Tennessee, developing the information that led to the arrests.
Hunters near Hell Creek Wildlife Management Area in Blue Mountain found Floyd’s body Saturday afternoon, Nov. 6.
He was identified through fingerprints on file from run-ins with the law over the years.
Floyd is believed to have been disabled, and about 5’9″ to 6′ tall, 185-200 lbs. Hunters near the Union County line found his body.
Floyd’s body was later released to next of kin, and he was cremated.