Indianola, MS- At the Leflore County Courthouse on April 30, 2019, Judge Richard Smith sentenced Dwayne Dabney in the Sunflower County Circuit Court case that stemmed from the November 13, 2016 shooting death of 15 year-old Earnestia “Ne Ne” Hunter, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today.
Earnestia Hunter was shot and killed outside her home on November 13, 2016; 6 days shy of her 16th birthday. State’s witnesses identified Dabney as the shooter who came to Ms. Hunter’s house to visit. Ms. Hunter was dropped off by Dabney at the Sunflower County Hospital after the shooting without providing any identifying information for the victim to medical personnel.
Officers with the Indianola Police Department learned through the course of their investigation that Dwayne Dabney was the individual that dropped Ms. Hunter off at the hospital and left to return to Belzoni, MS. Indianola Police Department officers made contact with Belzoni Police Department in order to make contact with Dabney to have him transported back to Indianola.
On March 6, 2019 Dwayne Dabney pled Guilty to Manslaughter for shooting 15 year old Hunter. Dabney declined to accept the State’s offer and chose to plead open requesting leniency and mercy from the Court. Dabney entered an Open plea of guilty to the lessor charge of Manslaughter.
On today, Judge Richard Smith held a sentencing hearing where witnesses addressed the Court regarding how this incident has affected them and this community. After a lengthy hearing, where friends and family of both Hunter and Dabney testified, Judge Richard Smith sentenced Dabney to 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections; Dabney will serve 15 years and will then be on probation for the remaining five years.
Dabney’s case was prosecuted by District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson and Assistant District Attorney Takiyah Perkins. The State of Mississippi expresses their appreciation for local law enforcement and continues to look forward to working with them to assist in making “our community safe.” During the hearing, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson expressed how “it’s traumatic and sad that we are here because a 15-year old young lady, loss her life due to Dwayne Dabney bringing a gun to the scene. The loss of Ms. Hunter has impacted the entire community, and there’s nothing the State of Mississippi can do to bring Ms. Hunter back; the only thing we can do is ask this Court to render Justice.”
Our hearts go out to the family of Earnestia “Ne Ne” Hunter and we hope that Dabney’s conviction brings them some sense of justice and closure to this horrific ordeal.
Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105