Hinds County Resident Convicted of Depraved Heart Murder

August 30, 2014

A Hinds County resident has been convicted by a jury of depraved heart murder, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

The jury trial of Tracey Lynn Garner (formerly known as Morris Garner), age 54, of Jackson concluded this evening with a verdict finding Garner guilty of depraved heart murder and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in the death of Atlanta, GA resident Karima Gordon in 2012. Judge Winston Kidd has set sentencing for Tuesday. Garner faces up to life in prison and was immediately taken into custody.

The investigation—involving the Attorney General’s Office, the United States Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations and the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure– showed that Morris, posing as a licensed nurse, injected a non-medical grade silicone into the buttocks of the victim during an illegal medical procedure at Garner’s Jackson residence, 1020 Peyton Avenue.

The trial lasted five days and the jury deliberation took approximately five hours.

“We felt confident that the evidence would lead to a conviction,” said Attorney General Hood. “We appreciate the jurors for their service. We hope this verdict will deliver some sense of justice for Ms. Gordan’s family.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Patrick Beasley and Special Assistant Attorneys General David Linzey and Crystal Utley.

Garner still faces similar charges in the death of a Selma, Alabama resident. The trial date in that case has not yet been set.

Magnolia Man Going to Prison for Child Exploitation

August 28, 2014

A Pike County resident is going to prison for child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
John Matherne, 39, of Magnolia pleaded guilty before Pike County Circuit Court Judge David Strong Wednesday to one count of child exploitation. As a result, Judge Strong sentenced Matherne to 25 years with eight to serve. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, $1,000 to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund and he must register as a sex offender upon release.

The case, investigated by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit, uncovered multiple images of child pornography on the defendant’s home computer.
“Judge Strong’s sentence should be a warning to others who are committing this same crime,” said Attorney General Hood.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.

Jackson Resident Going to Prison for Burglary

August 26, 2014
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A Jackson resident is going to prison for business burglary after pleading guilty to the crime, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

LeCarlo Clincy, 36, of Jackson, appeared Monday before Judge Joseph H. Loper, Jr. in Choctaw County Circuit Court and plead guilty to burglarizing Ackerman Discount Drugs in Ackerman.

Judge Loper sentenced the defendant to seven years with two and a half years suspended, four years and six months to serve,  followed by two years and six months post release supervision.

Three co-defendants are still awaiting adjudication in the same case.

This case was investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, assisted by Christopher Watkins with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit.  Prosecution was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander and Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders.


Picayune Resident Going to Prison for Child Exploitation

August 21, 2014
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A Picayune man is going to prison for child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Edwin Dean Pauly, 59, of Picayune, appeared before Pearl River County Circuit Court Judge Prentiss G. Harrell Tuesday for sentencing after pleading guilty in an open plea (meaning the defendant throws himself at the mercy of the court) to two counts of child exploitation August 12.  Judge Harrell sentenced Pauly to ten years, with five suspended, five to serve.  He must also register as a sex offender upon release.

The Attorney General’s investigation found Pauly in possession of multiple images of child porn.

The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit and was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Linda Davis and Brandon Ogburn.

Hinds County Resident Going to Prison for Exploitation of Vulnerable Person

August 20, 2014
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A Hinds County man is going to prison for 20 years for exploitation of a vulnerable person, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Gregory Wayne Colburn, 52, of Jackson, was sentenced Tuesday by Rankin County Circuit Court Judge William Chapman on two counts of exploitation of a vulnerable person. Colburn was convicted by a Rankin County Trial Jury on July 23, 2014. Sentencing was delayed until Tuesday. 

Colburn was sentenced to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections on each count with count two to run consecutive to count one, for a total of 20 years behind bars. He was ordered to pay $157,581.21 in restitution and $1,031.57 in court costs.

After Colburn was named Power of Attorney over the affairs of an elderly woman, the Attorney General’s investigation showed that Colburn enticed the victim to transfer large sums of money from her bank account to a joint bank account owned by both parties. Using the money from the joint account, Colburn purchased a $75,000 Certificate of Deposit then used the CD as collateral to purchase a tour bus for the Men of Music, a traveling religious singing group with which he was associated.  Colburn then transferred additional money from the joint bank account to an account owned solely by himself.

“We appreciate Judge Chapman for sentencing this defendant to the maximum time to serve for this crime,” said Attorney General Hood.

The case was investigated by Russell Frasier of the Attorney General’s Vulnerable Adults Unit and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Larry Baker and Jim Giddy.

AG Reminds Mississippians Free Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Consortium in Final Year of Service

August 19, 2014
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Attorney General Jim Hood is encouraging Mississippians facing foreclosure or in need of financial counseling to take advantage of the free services being offered by The Mississippi Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Consortium before time runs out. 

The program has been in place for two years and is currently in its last year of operation and will cease to exist June 30, 2015. 

“I created this program with the hopes of helping all Mississippians facing foreclosure, not just those directly linked to the national settlement,” said Attorney General Hood. “Now is the time for anyone needing help  to contact our program partners and explore whatever options may exist. ”

Mississippi Home Corp., a consortium partner, is planning a Housing Resource Fair on Tuesday, August 26 in Jackson at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum on Lakeland Drive, Sparkman Auditorium,  from 2-7pm.  The event will provide free legal services, overall housing counseling, pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention information from a variety of vendors.  Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are strongly encouraged.  Appointments can be made by calling the consortium hotline at 1-866-530-9572.

Anyone unable to attend the event can still call the hotline and talk with consortium partners.

Attorney General Jim Hood and 41 Other State Attorneys General Reach a $35 Million Consumer Settlement with Pfizer Concerning Rapamune®

August 8, 2014
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Attorney General Jim Hood joins 41 other Attorneys General in announcing a $35 million settlement with Pfizer Inc. over alleged consumer protection violations concerning the immunosuppressive drug Rapamune.

Mississippi’s portion of the settlement is $532,675.94.  Pfizer Inc., as parent of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., agrees to be bound by the judgment, to resolve allegations that Wyeth unlawfully promoted Rapamune, currently approved by the FDA as prophylactic for organ rejection after kidney transplant surgery.

“The Complaint and Consent Judgment we filed allege that our state consumer protection laws were violated by misrepresentation of the uses and benefits of Rapamune,” said Attorney General Hood.

Included in the allegations are misrepresentations related to: (1) the unapproved use of Rapamune following an organ transplant other than a kidney transplant; (2) the unapproved protocol of converting patients to Rapamune after initially receiving a different immunosuppressive drug; and (3) using Rapamune in unapproved drug combinations.

The Consent Judgment requires Pfizer to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote Rapamune or any Pfizer product.  Specifically, Pfizer shall not:

Make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive regarding any Pfizer Product;

Make any claim comparing the safety or efficacy of a Pfizer Product to another product when that claim is not supported by substantial evidence as defined by Federal law and regulations;

  • Promote any Pfizer Product for Off-Label uses;
  • Include mechanisms in its financial incentives to provide incentive compensation for sales that may be attributable to the Off-Label uses of any Pfizer Product;
  • Affirmatively seek the inclusion of Rapamune in hospital protocols or standing orders unless Rapamune has been approved by the FDA for the indication for which it is to be included in the protocol or standing order;
  • Disseminate information describing any Off-Label or unapproved use of Rapamune unless such information and materials comply with applicable FDA regulations and the recommended actions in FDA Guidances for Industry; or
  • Seek to influence the prescribing of Rapamune in hospitals or transplant centers in any manner (including through funding clinical trials) that does not comply with the Federal anti-kickback statute.

Oregon and Texas led the Executive Committee, which also includes Attorneys General from California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Also participating in the settlement are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington.

Two Jackson Residents Facing Allegations of Conspiracy and Burglary

July 31, 2014
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Two Jackson Residents Facing Allegations of business burglary burglary and conspiracy to possess and distribute controlled substances, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Marcus Taylor, 32, and LeCarlo Clincy, 36, both of Jackson, were arraigned Tuesday on three separate counts by Choctaw County Circuit Court Judge Joseph H. Loper, Jr. in Ackerman. Taylor and Clincy are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a schedule III controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a schedule V controlled substance and one count of business burglary for the burglary of Ackerman Discount Drugs.

The maximum sentence for count one is 20 years, count two is ten years and count three is seven years. Judge Loper set a bond of $100,000 for Taylor, who is a habitual offender and $50,000 for Clincy.

If convicted, Taylor and Clincy face up to 37 years behind bars for all three counts. As with all cases, the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander and Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders of the Public Integrity Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.