Sherry case conspirator to be released soon

The Associated Press

BILOXI – John Ransom, the man once thought to be triggerman in the murders of a prominent Biloxi judge and his wife, has been assigned to a halfway house in New York for the next 120 days.

Ransom, 76, was released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Jesup, Ga., last week. He was in federal court in Gulfport on Thursday to determine where he would serve three years' supervised release.

Ransom has spent the past 12 years in jail serving a 10-year sentence in federal prison for his role in the murder of Circuit Judge Vincent Sherry and his wife, Margaret, a former Biloxi councilwoman and mayoral candidate.

Ransom also served two years in a state prison on an unrelated manslaughter charge.

Ransom, Kirksey McCord Nix Jr., his girlfriend, Sheri LaRa Sharpe, and Mike Gillich Jr. were convicted during the first Sherry trial in 1991 of conspiracy surrounding the Sept. 14, 1987, execution-style murders.

Authorities at first believed Ransom was hired by Nix, his longtime associate and a convicted killer, to murder Vincent Sherry. Years later, they learned that Thomas Leslie Holcomb of Texas was the triggerman.

Holcomb, former Biloxi Mayor Pete Halat, Nix and Sharpe were convicted in the second Sherry trial in 1997 for their roles in the murders.

Last week after being released, Ransom reported to the U.S. Probation Office but did not agree to the terms of his supervised release. According to the U.S. Probation Office, Ransom was to report to a halfway house in Mobile and remain there for 120 days. Ransom, however wanted to remain in the Atlanta area.

“That's where I have my burial plot,” Ransom told U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. “My family is buried there.”

Ransom said the probation office denied his request to stay in Atlanta because they did not approve of the references he listed on the request.

Under the conditions of supervised release, the U.S. Probation Office must know the address where the individual will reside, as well as several of the people he or she will be associating with.

“As you well know, you have to be on supervised release,” Senter said. “The question is where and under what conditions. I would prefer that it would be something Mr. Ransom can agree to.”

Ransom agreed to surrender to a halfway house in New York and during the next 120 days, his attorney and probation officers will determine where Ransom will complete the remainder of his supervised release.