Three sentenced in the Death of Louisiana Man

Greenville, MS – In Washington County Circuit Court, Christopher Franks, 36 yoa, Trudy Ponder, 38 yoa, and Parker Huddleston 26 yoa, pled guilty to killing Thomas McIntosh, 32 yoa, in December of 2014, District Attorney Dewayne Richardson announced today.

The family of Thomas McIntosh, whose remains were found in a Washington County field in April of 2015, will have closure after the final defendants were sentenced by Judge Richard Smith on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Judge Richard Smith, Circuit Judge for Washington County, accepted guilty pleas from Christopher Franks, Parker Huddleston and Trudy Ponder for their involvement in the death of the Oak Grove, Louisiana man who was reported missing in February of 2015 to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Franks pled guilty to the crime of Second Degree murder and received a 25 year sentence with the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 20 years of that sentence to serve. Franks was determined to be responsible for applying the lethal injection that caused McIntosh’s death. Huddleston and Ponder each pled guilty to the crimes of Culpable Negligence Manslaughter and received sentences of 20 years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections for their roles in causing McIntosh’s death.

McIntosh traveled from his home to Washington County to gamble in a local casino in December of 2014. Once he arrived, the defendants befriended the victim. “The evidence at trial would have shown that after a few days of spending time together, the victim was given an injection of a ‘hot shot’ by Franks” said Washington County District Attorney Dewayne Richardson. Richardson said that this ‘hot shot’ was a lethal mixture of chemicals purported to be methamphetamine that resulted in the death of McIntosh. McIntosh’s body was then placed in a field by the defendants, where his remains were found months later.

Richardson added that, “The Office of the District Attorney appreciates the hard work of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the West Carroll (LA) Parrish Sheriff’s Department for their work in solving this case. The pleas in this case bring to an end the search for Mr. McIntosh that was begun by his devoted family. We hope that they can find peace and closure in this case.”  This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney John L. Herzog, Jr.

Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105

 

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Our Mission

The mission of the District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Circuit Court, under the direction of
W. Dewayne Richardson, is to seek justice in order to maintain an environment of safety, security and lawful behavior for the citizens of the Fourth District.

The Office of the District Attorney uses lawful and reasonable methods to successfully identify and prosecute those who commit felony crimes. When a crime occurs, the Office of the District Attorney diligently pursues the indictment and conviction of those responsible, while adhering to all rights of the Victim, ensuring the victim is being provided all direct services applicable, and acknowledging all constitutional safeguards for the accused.

The District Attorney’s Office for the Fourth
District’s goal is to work with law enforcement and the judiciary to punish those who break our laws with adequate punishment. Every representative of the Office of the District Attorney pledges their commitment and full support to the protection of all citizens within the Fourth Circuit Court District.

Contact

Greenville Office
P.O. Box 426
Greenville MS 38702
[P] 662.378.2105
[F] 662.332.4665
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Indianola Office
P.O. Box 1046
Indianola, MS 38751
[P] 662.887.4306
[F] 662.887.6275
generalinfo@msdeltada.com

Greenwood Office
P.O. Box 253
Greenwood, MS 38935
[P] 662.453.1089
[F] 662.451.7291
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Judicial Process

Citizen's Involvement in the criminal justice system typically begins with them being a victim, witness, or defendant of a crime. Arrests are made generally by a judge-issued warrant or by a police officer observing a crime in process. Law enforcement may also arrest someone if it has probable cause to believe the person committed a criminal offense. When individuals are arrested they are routinely advised of their Miranda Rights upon arrest, advising them that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say will be used against them in court. On being questioned, defendants have the right to have their attorney present or to have one appointed if they are indigent.

Felony defendants appear at a first appearance and have the charges reviewed. A judge will inquire if the defendant has an attorney. If low income, the defendant may qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. No plea is entered at this time unless the defendant wishes to plead guilty or waives indictment and has an attorney present. All felony cases are presented to a grand jury in the county that the crime was committed. In the State of Mississippi, only a grand jury has the authority to indict an individual for a felony offense and require them to stand trial for the charges alleged in an affidavit and indictment.

If an indictment is issued, the defendant is bound over to stand trial or enter a guilty plea to the crimes alleged. When a criminal trial occurs all 12 jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sentences are decided by Circuit Court Judges in all criminal matters. In most cases a recommendation is made regarding imprisonment, probation, fines and restitution.