2 charged in Deen, Tate murder investigation plead guilty

2 charged in Deen, Tate murder investigation plead guilty
Abram Wade “Pete” Franklin (Photo source: WDAM)
Abram Wade “Pete” Franklin (Photo source: WDAM)
Curtis Banks (Photo source: WDAM)
Curtis Banks (Photo source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Two suspects charged in connection to the shooting deaths of two Hattiesburg police officers in 2015 pleaded guilty to their roles in the crime Monday.

Abram Wade "Pete" Franklin, 32, pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and possession of a stolen firearm. Franklin was sentenced to serve five years for each count. Those sentences will run concurrent.

Curtis Banks, the brother of alleged gunman Marvin Banks, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance while in possession of a firearm. Curtis was sentenced to 30 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with 10 years to serve in prison.

The charges stem from the 2015 capital murder of Hattiesburg police officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate.

"We commend the work done by all agencies involved in the extensive investigation of all these crimes that stemmed from the murder of Officers Deen and Tate," said District Attorney Hal Kittrell. "We can only hope these convictions provide some level of peace to the families of these heroes, to their brothers and sisters in blue and to our community that has mourned this incredible loss."

Curtis, 29, previously pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder on Aug. 11, 2016. Curtis was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the accessory charge.

Marvin allegedly shot officers Deen and Tate to death during a traffic stop in May 2015.

Marvin was charged with two counts of capital murder, among other charges, but died in jail on Dec. 11, 2015. His cause of death was ruled to be heart disease.

According to investigators, Curtis helped his brother hide at the North Gate Inn on U.S. Highway 49 after the murders.

Prosecutors said Franklin allowed Curtis to hide in the attic of his apartment after helping Marvin. When police found Curtis, police said he had drugs and several stolen guns with him.

Cornelius Clark pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution.

Douglas McPhail and Anquanette Alexander pleaded guilty to first-degree hindering prosecution and conspiracy.

Broderick Varnado pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact of capital murder

Joanie Calloway was convicted of attempted accessory after the fact of capital murder and hindering prosecution.

Jimmy Brady pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen weapon.