MCCOMB, Mississippi — A McComb man has been convicted of killing the father of a 15-year-old boy with whom he and two other men allegedly were sexually involved.
Pike County Circuit Court Judge David Strong scheduled sentencing Monday for 27-year-old Greg Fortenberry, who got out of prison shortly before Thompson was stabbed in the neck on Aug. 18, 2013.
Jurors deliberated 80 minutes before convicting him Thursday of first-degree murder and other charges in the death of 53-year-old Kenneth Thompson, 53, The Enterprise-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1yE89wh ).
He faces a mandatory life term on the murder charge, up to 20 years for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, three years for third-degree arson, five for conspiracy to commit third-degree arson, and 10 years for possessing a firearm after a felony conviction.
Jasper Pittman, 26, Lajerrious "Moo" Perkins, 19, and Thompson's son, now 16 years, still face trial.
Lurid testimony described a love affair among the four and a plot to kill Thompson and get $3,500 from his bank card.
Defense attorney Ivan Burghard asked the judge to drop the charges against Fortenberry, saying the only witness who saw the murder or other crimes was Fortenberry, who made conflicting statements to officers before Sept. 23, 2013, confession.
"The state relies almost exclusively on the statement by the defendant himself, which we would submit is inherently unreliable," Burghard said.
As the defense began its case, Fortenberry said he had decided not to testify.
Burghard was unable to use either a letter in which he said Thompson's son confessed or an incident from a former jail who said the youth had told him that "Moo needed to own up about killing his daddy."
The son refused to testify, taking the Fifth Amendment on the advice of his public defender.
DNA analyst Kathryn Rogers of Scales Biological Lab in?Brandon, testifying for the prosecution, said Thompson's blood was on Fortenberry's bloody red T-shirt, and other DNA on the shirt and his camouflage shorts was from Fortenberry and two other people. She did not identify the others.
Information from: Enterprise-Journal, http://www.enterprise-journal.com
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