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Third man pleads guilty in Steelman Grocery murder case

Stephon Hart pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in front of Forrest County Circuit Court...
Stephon Hart pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in front of Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert B. Helfrich.(Jones County Detention Center)
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 1:00 PM CST
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A suspect pleaded guilty to the murder of a Hattiesburg grocery store owner earlier last week.

According to Lin Carter, the district attorney for Forrest and Perry counties, Stephon Hart pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in front of Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert B. Helfrich on Wednesday, Nov. 24. His sentencing will be hosted at a later date, which has not yet been determined.

Carter said Hart faces up to 40 years in prison to be served day-for-day with no eligibility for parole.

Hart was the third suspect charged with the 2019 murder of Lisa Nguyen.

According to the district attorney’s office, the Hattiesburg Police Department arrested Christopher Tyce, Stephon Hart and Eric Williams as the three men who killed Ngyuen. Jatyran Tuggle was also arrested for knowingly being the driver of the armed robbery, which resulted in Ngyuen’s death.

On April 8, Tyce pleaded guilty to capital murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole by Judge Helfrich.

On Nov. 17, Tuggle was also sentenced to life in prison without parole on the capital murder charge and 20 years on the conspiracy charge, which will run consecutive to the first count.

According to court records, Eric Williams’ trial is set for Dec. 6 in the Circuit Courtroom in the 1st Judicial District of Harrison County due to a change of venue request.

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