Thursday, August 4, 2005

Manslaughter sentence revoked for drug charge

Freelance Writer

A Holly Springs woman has been sentenced to 18 months following a violation of her probation on a 20-year manslaughter sentence.

Latanya Pegues, 25, of Highway 311, Holly Springs, appeared before Judge Andrew Baker in Tate County on July 25. Pegues and the state agreed that she would have 18 months of her sentence revoked for a drug charge that was a violation of her probation.

According to court documents, Pegues, who pled guilty to manslaughter in the 2001 death of Michael Newsom, 35, of Tyro, was arrested on July 9, 2004 by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office for possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. The District Attorney’s Office, 17th District, filed a petition to revoke Pegues’ sentence for violation of good behavior in September, 2004, and a bench warrant for her arrest was issued.

Manslaughter sentence
Pegues was arrested in September, 2001, and charged with simple murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend Michael Newsom following an investigation by the Tate County Sheriff’s Office. She was indicted for murder in December, 2001, by a Tate County grand jury.

In September, 2002, she stood trial and was convicted of murder, after only two hours of deliberation by a Tate County jury. At her sentencing that November, Baker unexpectedly overturned her conviction, granting her a new trial based on an admitted oversight on his part. He stated that he had neglected to instruct the jury that a verdict of manslaughter was a possibility for them.

In February 2003, Pegues opted to plead guilty to manslaughter in Newsom’s death. Baker told Pegues at that time that he would sentence her within the following year.

“I want to see what you are going to do with your life over the next 12 months,” Baker told Pegues that day. “Staying clean will go a long way.”

Exactly one year to the day that she pled, she appeared again before Baker and was sentenced to 20 years with all prison time suspended.

“If I have made a mistake and put too much confidence in you, then you will make me correct the mistake I may have made today,” Baker told Pegues at the time of her sentencing.

Pegues remains in custody at the Tate County Law Enforcement Center awaiting transport to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

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