Indianola, MS—Leradrick Gardner, Jr., 25 yoa, of Indianola pled guilty to Second Degree Murder in Sunflower County Circuit Court on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 as jurors sat waiting to hear his case, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today.
Testimony at the trial would have revealed that on the night of October 18, 2019, officers of the Indianola Police Department were called to a shooting that occurred at a residence on Front Avenue Ext. At the scene, witnesses identified Gardner as the man that opened fire and shot Marcus Hutchins causing his death.
Gardner’s trial for the killing of Hutchins was set to proceed on Tuesday morning, July 21, 2022 but upon consulting with his attorney, Gardner decided to forego a trial and he pled guilty to Second Degree Murder. Gardner did not accept the State’s recommendation for his crimes but he instead chose to plead open requesting the Court to impose whatever sentence she deems appropriate. Leradrick Gardner is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Carol White-Richard at her next week of court on July 5, 2022.
The crime of Second Degree Murder requires a minimum sentence of 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the maximum penalty is 40 years in the custody of MDOC.
In addition to admitting his guilt to the death of Hutchins, Leradrick Gardner also pled guilty to two other felony indictments that were pending in Sunflower County Circuit Court. In case number 2017-0006, Gardner admitted his role in the shooting involving Tommie Dixon in Inverness, MS on February 7, 2017. Gardner faces a potential penalty of 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for the crime of Aggravated Assault in the Dixon case.
In Sunflower County case number 2017-0029, Gardner pled guilty to Business Burglary and Malicious Mischief for crimes that occurred at Fannie’s Café in Inverness, MS.
Assistant District Attorneys Takiyah H. Perkins and Stanley A. Alexander represented the State of Mississippi in the prosecution of Leradrick Gardner and Perkins noted that justice for Marcus Hutchins and Gardner’s other victims would not have been possible without concerned citizens being willing to stand up and speak out about the injustices that occur in our community. The Office of the District Attorney thanks the committed investigators and personnel of the Indianola Police Department and the Inverness Police Department for their hard work that makes our community safe.