Brother of accused Hattiesburg cop killer pleads guilty

Brother of accused Hattiesburg cop killer pleads guilty
Curtis Banks Source: HPD
Curtis Banks being apprehended after a night-long manhunt for he and his brother Marvin. Source: Ryan Moore WDAM
Curtis Banks being apprehended after a night-long manhunt for he and his brother Marvin. Source: Ryan Moore WDAM
Curtis Banks in court, pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder in the HPD officer slayings. Source: Ryan Moore WDAM
Curtis Banks in court, pleading guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder in the HPD officer slayings. Source: Ryan Moore WDAM
HPD officers sit together as they watch Curtis Banks plead guilty. Source: Ryan Moore WDAM
HPD officers sit together as they watch Curtis Banks plead guilty. Source: Ryan Moore WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A Hattiesburg man charged in connection to the 2015 murders of Hattiesburg Police Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate pleaded guilty in a Forrest County Circuit Court Thursday.

Curtis Banks, 27, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder in connection to the May 9, 2015, murders.

Circuit Judge Bob Helfrich sentenced Curtis to the maximum sentence of 20 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Banks also had a pending 2013 sale of controller substance charge and pled to that as well, and sentenced to serve 5 years in the custody of MDOC.

The pair of charges will run concurrent according to 12th District, District Attorney Patricia Burchell.

According to Banks' accessory indictment, he helped his brother, Marvin Banks, the alleged trigger man, after the shooting, knowing that he committed the crime of capital murder.

"With the intent to avoid arrest, trial and conviction or punishment after the commission of such felony, by transporting the said Marvin Banks from the area of the crime and providing him with lodging at the Northgate Inn in Hattiesburg."

Of the eight total suspects, Jimmy Brady, 23, pleaded guilty to the sale of a stolen weapon in June, in connection to the murders. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for the charge.

The alleged trigger man, Marvin Banks was found dead in his jail cell at the Forrest County Jail on Dec. 11, 2015 from what autopsy results show was severe heart disease.

During the hearing, family members were given the opportunity to address Curtis.

"Why, was it worth it, and if you had to do all over again would you," asked Liquori Tate's mother Yolander Ross. "I hope that before you take your last breath that you find Jesus, I really do."

Banks stared back as she continued speaking.

"I wanted you to see my tears and see what you have done, this is what we have to live with for the rest of our lives," said Ross.

Benjamin Deen's father also addressed the court, speaking directly to Curtis.

"I wonder if you have any idea how many people you and your brother and the rest of those Devils have destroyed," said Dan Deen, father of Benjamin Deen. "Totally and absolutely destroyed, do you have any feelings at all?"

"Do you have any feelings at all… like I know your brother didn't," said Deen. "You don't know when your last breath is going to be, and when it does, if you haven't found that little bit of hope that Gods put in you, you going to burn in hell just like your brothers doing."

Banks continued staring back as Dan continued his speech.

"Look what I did, I'm a big man, yeah…we killed a cop, we killed two cops, is it going to be worth going to hell over brother… you think about it," said Deen as he walked away from the podium in court.

Curtis with the advice of his attorney apologized to the families.

"Sorry for yall's family and everything," said Banks.

Curtis was remanded into custody and escorted out to be transferred to the Mississippi department of corrections.