Indianola, MS- At the Sunflower County Courthouse on Monday, October 3, 2022, Judge Carol White-Richard sentenced Leradrick Gardner in the Sunflower County case that stemmed from the October 18, 2019 shooting death of Marcus Hutchinson.  Gardner was also sentenced for his role in a 2017 Aggravated Assault on Mr. Tommie Dixon as well as a Business Burglary and Malicious Mischief in Inverness, MS, District Attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced today.

In the early evening on October 18, 2019, officers with the Indianola Police Department responded to a gunshot victim on Front Avenue Extended.  Officers and other first responders arrived on scene where they found gunshot victim, Marcus Hutchinson suffering from two life-threatening gunshot wounds. Hutchinson ultimately died as a result of the shooting.

Witnesses on scene identified the defendant Leradrick Gardner as the shooter.  Detectives with the Indianola Police Department and Mississippi Bureau of Investigations arrested and questioned Gardner where he confessed to the shooting.

In a separate incident, on February 7, 2017, victim Tommie Dixon of Inverness, MS identified defendant Leradrick Gardner as being one of a group of individuals who assaulted him.  Officers with the Inverness Police Department arrested Gardner for his role in the assault on Mr. Dixon. 

Also on February 7, 2017, Fannie’s Café located on Second Street in Inverness, MS was burglarized and DJ equipment belonging to Ray Mays was damaged during the burglary.  An ensuing investigation by the Inverness Police Department led to Leradrick Gardner being identified as one of the suspects involved with the burglary.

Earlier this year, on June 21, 2022, Leradrick Gardner pled to Second Degree Murder, Business Burglary, Felony Malicious Mischief, and Aggravated Assault. Leradrick Gardner appeared in the Circuit Court of Sunflower County on Monday, October 3, 2022 for sentencing.

Following a hearing where the court heard testimony of witnesses and remarks of counsel, Circuit Court Judge Carol White-Richard sentenced Gardner for Second Degree Murder to twenty (20) years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections to serve.  For his Aggravated Assault charge he was sentenced to five (5) years in the custody of Mississippi Department of Corrections to serve, this sentence runs concurrent with, or at the same time as, the Second Degree Murder sentence.  For the Business Burglary and Malicious Mischief charges, Gardner was sentenced to five (5) years Post-Release Supervision, those sentences will run consecutive to, or begin after, the Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault sentences.

The cases against Leradrick Gardner were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Takiyah Perkins and Stanley Alexander. “There is no punishment that can heal the brokenness Marcus Hutchinson’s family feels every day because of his absence, there is no penalty that can restore what was taken from his victims, there is only the hope that holding Leradrick Gardner accountable for his actions opens a chapter of healing and closure,” ADA Perkins offered.

The Office of the District Attorney is thankful for the trust and patience of the victims’ families, the witnesses who came forward to say what they saw, and the investigative efforts of the Indianola Police Department, Inverness Police Department and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations. 

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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.

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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.

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