HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Three people charged in connection to the 2015 shooting deaths of Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were sentenced on Monday.
Douglas McPhail and Anquanette Alexander both pleaded guilty before Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Bob Helfrich.
The two were arrested on May 15, 2015, and charged with first-degree hindering prosecution and conspiracy. The two are accused of hiding or disposing of physical evidence in the case, which was the shirt of alleged triggerman Marvin Banks, which he was wearing at the time of the shootings.
McPhail, 23, was sentenced to 5 years, with 2 to serve on house arrest with 3 years post release supervision for conspiracy, and then the same sentence to run concurrent for the hindering charge.
Anquanette's, 21, sentencing was deferred for 5 years, non-adjudicated and placed under Mississippi Department of Corrections supervision for conspiracy. Count two, for hindering was passed to the inactive files.
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 the two officers on May 22, 2017.
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.
Varnado was sentenced to 20 years with 12 to serve with 8 years suspended on post-release supervision for accessory after the fact of capital murder. Count two, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon he was sentenced to 10 years in custody of MDOC, to run concurrent with count one and both sentences will run consecutive. A revocation was addressed for a previous sex crime and he was sentenced to 8 years in the custody of MDOC.
Varnado took a moment to address the court during the sentencing:
"I would like to say good morning and god bless you all, said Varnado. "I'm here on behalf of an understanding with my family."
"We are all humans, and things we do, every human doesn't understand why we do it, but the lord knows my heart," said Varnado. " To the families of the officers, I would like to say I'm sorry for any stress or grief I may have caused you."
"I have a family myself, I'm not a bad person, that's not me," he said.
He said the reason he did what he did was to protect his family.
"Marvin entered my house, I did not let him in, with a gun," said Varnado.
He again apologized to the court before Judge Helfrich addressed him directly.
"Knowing two officers had been shot and killed you disposed of the weapon instead of calling the police.... that's the fact of the matter," said Helfrich. "The fact you did enter a plea of guilty goes in your favor, but you still must be held accountable for your actions."
Officers Deen, 34, and Tate, 25, were shot during a traffic stop May 9, 2015, on East 4th Street, near the Bouie Street intersection, and they both later died at Forrest General Hospital from their injuries.
Joanie Calloway, was arrested May 9, 2015, and charged with attempted accessory after the fact of capital murder and first-degree hindering prosecution. 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.
Abram Wade "Pete" Franklin was arrested May 13, 2015, and charged with first-degree hindering prosecution. He is accused of hiding Curtis Banks, who is the brother of alleged triggerman Marvin Banks. Curtis Banks was found hiding in his attic. His case was transferred to the 15th Circuit Court District because his residence is in Lamar County, which will be handled by District Attorney Hal Kittrell. He remains free on a $75,000 bond.
Cornelius Clark, who was in the car with Banks and Calloway was arrested on May 10, 2015, and charged with first-degree hindering prosecution. According to his indictment, he disposed of the shirt he was wearing in attempts to elude police. His court date is pending while the state waits on results from a psychiatric evaluation, and he remains free on a $75,000 bond.
Curtis Banks was arrested May 10, 2015, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder on Aug. 11, 2016. He was sentenced to 20 years for his role in the murders, and another five years for pleading guilty to a separate drug charge.
Jimmy Brady was arrested May 15, 2015, and charged with possession of a stolen weapon, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun, which he stole from his father and then sold it to Marvin Banks. He pleaded guilty on June 27, 2016, and was sentenced to five years and was sentenced to another 10 years for a previous aggravated domestic violence charge.
Marvin Banks, 29, the alleged triggerman, was arrested May 9, 2015, and charged with two counts of capital murder, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and grand larceny for taking Deen's patrol car and fleeing after the shootings. He died Dec. 11, 2015, at the Forrest County Jail from heart disease, according to Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict.