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STATEMENT FROM DISTRICT ATTORNEY CHRIS D. HENNIS

September 23, 2021, was a busy day at the Covington County Courthouse.

Several pleas were taken including pleas from Zachary Demon Barnes, 39, and Jamar Hayes, 18, both of who pled guilty to Second Degree Murder. Devonta Clark entered a plea of guilty to the crime of manslaughter. Zachary Barnes was sentenced to thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with twenty (20) years to serve day for day. Barnes was indicted by a Covington County Grand Jury for the stabbing death of Dewayne Haynes which occurred on May 12, 2020. Jamar Hayes was sentenced to thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with twenty (20) years to serve day for day. Hayes was indicted, along with his co-defendant, Shirod Magee, by a Covington County Grand Jury for the murder of Mr. Jessie Lee Doby which occurred in June of 2018.

Shirod Magee, pled guilty in July 2021 to Second Degree Murder and was also sentenced to thirty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with twenty (20) years to serve day for day. Hayes and Magee were 15 and 16 years of age when they committed this crime. According to the investigation, the teens were walking past Mr. Doby’s home and saw him napping in his yard. They hit Mr. Doby in the head with a blunt object so that they could take his truck. Once Mr. Doby’s wife returned home she noticed that Mr. Doby was acting strange. A Covington County Deputy was called to the house to check on Mr. Doby and noticed that he had a head injury. Mr. Doby was taken by ambulance to Forrest General Hospital where he died a couple days later from his injury.

Devonta Clark, 26, was sentenced to twenty years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with fifteen (15) years to serve for the death of 18 year old Shealbie Ruffin. According to the investigation, Clark and Ruffin were in a dating relationship and on January 14, 2020, while riding in a car with three other people on Highway 49 in CovingtonCounty, Devonta Clark was playing with a pistol. He removed the magazine from the pistol and put the gun to Ms. Ruffin’s head and pulled the trigger. The pistol still had a live round in the chamber and went off killing Ms. Ruffin instantly. Mr. Clark called 911 and remained at the scene until emergency personnel arrived.

Other pleas that were heard on September 23 included Cedrick Ducksworth who was sentenced to 7 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 4 years to serve incarcerated for commercial burglary. Vincent Graves was also sentenced to 7 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 4 years to serve incarcerated for burglary of a church.

In a Simpson County case, Donald Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 5 years to serve incarcerated for being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Johnson was also sentenced to 3 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections for Possession of Methamphetamine in a Smith County case.

In a Magee Police Department case, Corey Generos was sentenced to 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 15 years to serve incarcerated for Possession of Methamphetamines with the Intent to Distribute. Justin Glover was sentenced to 6 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with 3 years to serve for Possession of Methamphetamine.

District Attorney Chris Hennis stated: “I want to thank the Covington, Simpson and Smith County Sheriff’s Departments, the Magee Police Department, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for their hard work in investigating these cases. The excellent investigations conducted by these agencies helped secure convictions against these defendants and ensured that justice was served for the victims and their families and for the people of the 13th District

MageeNews.com is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.

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