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April Circuit Court Enters Week Two

April 12, 2011

The April term of Clay County Circuit Court entered week two Monday, and a grand jury was selected to make decisions on felony cases that are scheduled for trial this last week of court.
One case is that of 43-year-old Timothy Roberson, who is charged with being an accessory to the murder of Roosevelt Pernell that was allegedly committed by Robert Rupert, who is also scheduled for trial this week. Roberson allegedly hid the firearm on or about Dec. 4, 2003 that Rupert allegedly used to kill Pernell, trying to avoid arrest, trial and conviction.
On Jan. 14, 2010, Roberson pled not guilty to the charge, and his trial has been continued several times, just as the trials of Rupert have been continued more than once.
About two weeks ago, count three of Rupert's indictment, the charge of killing Carlos Carr about 17 years ago, was dismissed after a motion was made by the State that said it could not be proven that Rupert killed Carr because witnesses who could testify against Rupert were deceased, missing or no longer remember statements they previously gave in this case.
This week Rupert is still scheduled to stand trial for the death of Roosevelt Pernell and the shooting of Cedric Pernell, which Rupert allegedly committed around the same day of the shooting of Roosevelt Pernell.
One case that won't be going to trial this week is that of Tiffany Barnhill Johnson, who pled guilty Friday to the charge of misdemeanor conspiracy against her brother Jeremy Barnhill, who was found not guilty in January for the Jan. 2, 2010 manslaughter of Curtis Clardy.
Around that time, Johnson and Clardy, who were dating, tried to get Barnhill to come down Jack Williams Road so that Clardy could fight Barnhill, but after Barnhill arrived and Clardy went after him, Clardy was shot by Barnhill in self defense.
Johnson was charged with felony conspiracy, but the charge was reduced to misdemeanor conspiracy to falsely commit a crime. Johnson was ordered to pay $100.
The following orders were issued Monday by Judge Lee Howard in Clay County Circuit Court:
• Christopher Belk pled guilty to the charge of aggravated assault. Belk was sentenced to serve a 10-year term with the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 10 years suspended. He was placed on five years probation, which, if violated, will be revoked and Belk will have to the serve the entire 10-year term.
• Will Frank Bean pled guilty to one count of robbery as a habitual offender, was given a maximum sentence of 15 years with MDOC and was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.

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