Violent habitual offender convicted by jury, sentenced to life without possibility of parole

Lonnie L. Nobles, 40, of Hattiesburg.
Lonnie L. Nobles, 40, of Hattiesburg.(Forrest County Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 3:48 PM CDT
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FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - A violent habitual offender was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole in Forrest County Circuit Court.

12th Circuit Court District Attorney Lin Carter announced Thursday that 40-year-old Lonnie “Bang” Nobles of Hattiesburg was sentenced after being convicted at trial.

According to the district attorney’s office, Judge Robert Helfrich found Nobles a violent habitual offender due to the statute and sentenced him to the mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The district attorney’s office said Nobles has four prior felony convictions for armed robbery, burglary, auto theft and grand larceny, all in Jones County, dating from 2001 to present. Nobles is currently under Indictment in Forrest County for trafficking in methamphetamine (arrested at the Sunset Inn), possession of meth with intent to distribute and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon (arrested at the University Inn) sale of meth (Walgreens parking lot) and another sale of meth (at the Western Inn).

Nobles went to trial on one of the pending sale of meth cases in Forrest County on May 2. At trial, a video was admitted into evidence and played for the jury.

The district attorney’s office said the video showed Nobles selling meth, a Schedule II controlled substance, while sitting in his vehicle, to a confidential source who was working with METRO Narcotics law enforcement and wired with video surveillance equipment. A scientist from the Mississippi State Crime Lab who specializes in drug identification, tested the substance sold to the confidential source and testified it was meth.

The jury found Noble guilty, and a sentencing hearing was conducted on Thursday to determine if Nobles was a violent habitual offender.

At the hearing, Nobles’ prior certified convictions were admitted into evidence along with inmate time sheets showing his lengthy incarceration with MDOC from his four previous convictions.

“Lonnie Nobles is a career criminal, drug dealer and trafficker,” said Carter. “With the numerous drug overdoses that are all too frequent in our state, many lethal, the number of people addicted to methamphetamine and other drugs, and giving his lifetime of crime, Lonnie Nobles is exactly where he needs to be, prison.”

“I want to commend the professionalism and dedication of those law enforcement officers that work tirelessly to make a difference in our efforts to get after the dealers of these illegal and addictive drugs, like Lonnie Nobles,” Carter added.

Assistant District Attorney Bryan Buckley prosecuted the case.

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