LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Two men accused of roles in a murder-for-hire plot to kill a prominent Marion County businessman were denied bond again Monday during another hearing.
Glen Evans, 46 of Gulfport, and Howard Cameron, 47 of Biloxi, both appeared in a Lamar County court before Judge Billy Andrews for a Habeas corpus hearing in effort to have a bond set.
They both face a conspiracy to commit murder charge, and six other charges apiece for their alleged roles in conspiring to kill, kidnap, assault and extort businessman and IHL Board member Thomas "Tommy" Duff.
According to court files, "Evans and Cameron... on Nov. 18, 2016, in the County of Lamar aforesaid, did lawfully, willfully, and feloniously, without lawful authority conspire with Victor Mitchell to commit the crime of murder in that they did agree to kidnap, rape, torture and murder Tommy Duff against the peace and dignity of the State of Mississippi."
During Monday's testimony, the pair which were represented jointly had eight character witnesses testify on their behalf.
Cameron's fiancé took the stand first, testifying about his character and his employment status. She detailed that he is a dealer at the Beau Rivage Casino Biloxi.
"He's a man of his word, if he says he is going to do something, he's going to do it," she said. "These charges are out of character for him."
Assistant District Attorney Doug Miller questioned that statement, trying to prove he would keep his word if given bond, pertaining to the charges Cameron is facing.
Cathy Suttle, who is known Cameron for roughly 20 years said she would not consider him a danger to the community.
LaMonica Bullock, a co-worker testified that Cameron is a good person. She added they have been friends over the past 20 plus years.
Margaret Cameron, Howard's mother, testified as well.
"He has never had a conviction of anything that I ever known of, I've been knowing him all my life," Margaret said. "He always helping someone, he attends church, works every day and sees about his family."
Conrad Amos and Robert Culberson, both family friends, testified on Cameron's behalf, both saying it was out of character.
Culberson also said he and Evans had been friends for over 35 years.
Tommy Evans, Glen's father, took the stand, testifying that his son was a longshoreman.
Kim Evans, Glen's ex-wife, also testified, and said he is a great person and is always very helpful.
Lamar County Sheriff's Department Investigator Jack Rayner took the stand on behalf of the state to reinforce the seriousness of the alleged crime and the charges.
Rayner testified that the plan has been pieced together from anywhere from two to six weeks.
"Without the murder-for-hire charge, they are both facing 70 plus years," Rayner said.
Court testimony revealed that Evans was previously arrested for an assault, but investigator Rayner did not go into further details.
"The proof is evident in this case, the defendants pose a danger to the community," Andrews said.
Andrews denied bond for both defendants, and they were remanded back to the custody of the Lamar County Jail, pending a grand jury decision.
Duff, who is an Institutions of Higher Learning board member was appointed to the IHL Board by Gov. Phil Bryant in May 2015 to represent the Second (Southern) Supreme Court District.
He is also a co-owner, along with his brother, of Duff Capital Investors, according to his biography on the Mississippi Public Universities website.
The Duff family previously released this statement:
"The Duffs were unaware of this person, attempt and know very few details, they are very pleased with how this being handled by the authorities," said a spokesperson for the family.
Victor Mitchell, 42 of Sumrall, was arrested on Nov. 19 and charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
He was denied bond in his previous detention hearing, and Habeus Corpus hearing and remains in custody in the Lamar County Jail.
"As sinister as this plot was, that we are learning and certainly we are just in preliminary investigations at this point, but everything we are hearing now certainly mandates in our mind that they are just a risk to the community, a flight risk, but also just a true risk to the community and they just don't need to be out," 15th Circuit Court District District Attorney Hal Kittrell said in a previous statement. "It can happen, it has happened, I mean this plot was.... I'm still amazed at what is was, I'm still amazed at the sinister plot that they had, but I can assure you, we will be dealing with it."