Another suspect pleads guilty in deaths of Deen and Tate - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

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Another suspect pleads guilty in deaths of Deen and Tate

Brodrick Varnado Sr. Source: HPD Brodrick Varnado Sr. Source: HPD
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

A suspect involved in the shooting deaths of two Hattiesburg police officers pleaded guilty Monday in Forrest County courtroom.

Broderick Kendell Varnado, 27, of Hattiesburg pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in connection to the deaths of officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate, who were killed May 9, 2015.

Varnado hid the murder weapon, a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun, which was allegedly used by Marvin Banks during the traffic stop that resulted in the deaths of Deen and Tate.

During his appearance before Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Bob Helfrich, Varnado was questioned if he agreed with the charges.

"In a way I do but, but in a way I don't," said Varnado.

"Did you commit these crimes," asked Helfrich.

"Yes, I did," said Varnado.

Varnado is facing up to 30 years for the combined charges, however his sentencing will be set at a later date, due to him entering a "blind plea" in open court.

"I am deferring sentencing in this mater until a pre-sentence investigation is conducted, once it's conducted I will set a sentencing date," said Helfrich.

Varnado's Previous Charge:

Varnado was previously indicted in January 2014 in Forrest County for a sexual battery charge stemming from a Jan. 2006 to Dec. 2007, incident involving touching of a child under the age of 14. According to the indictment, Varnado engaged in the act of sexual intercourse.

He entered a guilty plea in court in August of 2014, and was sentenced to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. Varnado's sentence was suspended, all but time served, and pursuant to and in conformity with post-release supervision for 5 years.

Additional suspects yet to stand trial:

Douglas McPhail and Anquanette Alexander were set to stand trial May 11, 2017, but those have been continued.

Alexander and McPhail are charged with first-degree hindering prosecution and conspiracy. McPhail is accused of conspiring with Alexander to hide, dispose or conceal physical evidence in the case. He remains free on a $15,000 bond, and Alexander remains free on a $15,000 bond.

Cornelius Clark is charged with first-degree hindering prosecution and was the third person in Calloway’s vehicle. He had psychiatric evaluation ordered to determine whether he is able to stand trial. The report has not yet been returned to the court.

Abram Pete Franklin was charged with first-degree hindering prosecution after he allegedly hid Curtis in his attic to avoid/elude arrest. His case was transferred to the 15th Circuit Court District Attorneys office for prosecution. 

Suspects sentenced:

The alleged trigger man Marvin Banks died of heart disease while in custody at the Forrest County Jail.

His brother, Curtis Banks, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder, and was sentenced to 20 years.

Abram Pete Franklin was charged with first-degree hindering prosecution after he allegedly hid Curtis in his attic to avoid/elude arrest. His case was transferred to the 15th Circuit Court District Attorneys office for prosecution.

Jimmy "Jimbo" Brady pleaded guilty and is serving a 5-year sentence for possession  of a stolen weapon, which was the murder weapon he sold to Marvin.

Joanie Calloway was convicted of attempted accessory after the fact of capital murder and hindering prosecution on May 3, 2017. She was sentenced to 25 years.

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