2 sentenced for 2012 Lamar County murder

2 sentenced for 2012 Lamar County murder
Sherby Barnes and Cotrell Thomas

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two men were sentenced today in a Purvis court for the 2012 shooting death of a Forrest County woman.

Sherby Dale Barnes Jr., 34, and Cortell Lawrence Thomas, 24, were each sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell to 30 years with 25 to serve in prison for the depraved heart murder of Judy Johnson, 43.

Both men approached the bench separately to be sentenced, and each apologized for the crime they committed.

Johnson was found shot to death in her Plantation Place apartment at 107 Shemper Drive around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 30, 2012 after police responded to a report of shots fired.

Barnes and Thomas previously pled guilty to the crime in late January.

"Ms. Judy Johnson was murdered by her fiancé, Sherby Dale Barnes, Jr., and his friend, Cotrell Lawrence Thomas. My office has worked closely with Ms. Johnson's family to prosecute this case. We sincerely hope they can find some peace in knowing these men will remain in prison convicted of the murder of their loved one," said 15th Circuit County District Attorney Hal Kittrell.