West Point man finds redemption in education

Marquis Boyd recently graduated from EMCC with his GED and is working to turn his life around after serving time in prison.
Staff Writer

Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott remembers Marquis Boyd. And well he should, Boyd escaped twice from the county jail where he was being held on robbery charges.

Boyd says the sheriff wouldn't recognize that person now.

Almost three years ago, he was sentenced to five years in prison for escape. Another escape and the robbery charges were retired.

Boyd got out of prison last year. He says the time behind bars convinced him he wanted to change his life.

The first step came last week when he received his GED during ceremonies at East Mississippi Community College. Ironically, graduation was three days after his 27th birthday.

"You see different guys who've been in there four or five times and they are only 30 years old. I'm thinking to myself that's not the way to live, I don't want to follow in those footsteps," he said of the new attitude he developed in prison.

"I'm proud of this first accomplishment, really proud of myself. I always wanted to be somebody," Boyd said. "To get somewhere these days, you have to have an education, you can't do anything without an education," he continued of his initial step. "I always had good grades and everything when I was in high school, but I was just young and dumb."

That attitude started early and by the 10th grade at West Point High School, Boyd dropped out. That was 2007.

"I got caught up in the fast life, easy money," he says spinning a tale of drugs and stealing that fueled a lifestyle at a young age. It eventually caught up with him.

He got arrested in 2011 in Anderson, Indiana, where he was born, after he an another man who was older robbed three people at a West Point residence in 2010. Boyd was toting a shotgun during the robbery in which the other man, who eventually was convicted and sentenced to life in prison as a habitual offender, threatened to kill the victims.

Later came the two escapes, one in 2013 and another on June 11, 2014. Two months after the second escape, he was arrested again in Anderson. In April 2015, he was sentenced after pleading guilty.

He got credit for the time he'd served but still had to do additional time. He got out in November 2016 on parole.

He admits he's struggled at times to stay the course. His family, a 7-year-old daughter and a son due next month have helped keep him focused.

"My family has been behind me the whole way. Self-motivation pushes you so far, but it's easy to let up. But if you've got someone there to push and support you, it makes it easier to keep on going," he stated.

He'd like to be able to use his own experience to inspire and encourage his daughter in a few years.

"I want her to know where I came from, that she can have fun but don't get caught up living all for fun. You've got to live responsibly. I want her to know how important education is. It's hard to go back in the middle of your life and grow up again," he said, summarizing his own path.

So where to now? Truck driving may be on the horizon, either long-haul or regional.

"I want to see what's out there and go from there. I'm working on that now. I think opportunities are there. That's what I want," he said. Scott says he is aware Boyd is out. "Those are good new stories. We haven't heard from him. I hope he stays on the path," Scott said.