Clifton Dean Sentenced to 25 YEARS after Jury Trial and Conviction
Greenville, MS—On Monday, August 13th, Senior Circuit Judge Ashley Hines sentenced Clifton Dean to the maximum punishment allowed for his role in the killing of Frederick Williams on March 30, 2012.
Dean was convicted by a Washington County Jury at the conclusion of his trial in mid-July. During the sentencing hearing, relatives of Williams fought back tears and channeled emotion to explain to the Court how the senseless killing of their beloved family member had impacted their lives and the lives of those they represented. Dean faced up to twenty-five years.
Manslaughter carries a maximum of 20 years and, because he used a firearm, Dean would be sentenced to an additional 5 years due to the Firearm Enhancement. In Mississippi, Circuit Judges have the discretion to order defendants to serve the 5-year enhancement at the same time as the underlying sentence or after they have completed the underlying sentence. At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Assistant District Attorney Kaylon McCou urged the Court to impose the full 20-year term and run the 5-year enhancement after the original sentence given the horrendous nature of Dean’s part in the killing. The Court ordered Dean to stand and sentenced him to the maximum of 20 years for Manslaughter and ordered the additional 5 years for the Firearm Enhancement to begin after the 20 year sentence.
This case was prosecuted at trial by ADA McCou along with ADA John Herzog, Jr. McCou adds that, “No amount of prison time will return Frederick Williams to his family and I am sure they would trade it all for another day with him. But we do hope that the conviction and sentencing of Dean will bring Williams’ family a sense of justice and closure as they work to heal from this tragedy.”
Contact: W. Dewayne Richardson District Attorney, Fourth Circuit Court District | 662-378-2105
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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.
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Greenville MS 38702
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Indianola, MS 38751
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Greenwood, MS 38935
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.
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