Headlines – 3/14/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2003

The Panolian Headlines: March 14, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 3/14/03  issue of The Panolian

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Ex-Coach Gets Suspended Sentence
Sexual Battery Charge Draws Probation Time
The Bonds family including "Bubba’s" parents (foreground), wife and son (with Bonds) leave the courthouse after the proceedings.

A former South Panola High School assistant coach’s criminal court time is behind him following a hearing in Panola County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Eldridge D. "Bubba" Bonds, 30, of 21 CR 209, Oxford, appeared before Circuit Judge Ann Lamar and entered a plea of no contest to a count of sexual battery. He received a five-year suspended sentence and one-year supervised probation.

District Attorney John Champion handled prosecution for the state saying he would be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, Bonds did sexually violate a minor with his hand.

"Bonds made advancements towards the minor in the South Panola field house and the penetration occurred," Champion said.

Bonds’ attorney, Kent Smith of Holly Springs, said his client was seeking acceptance of the offered plea of no contest to the charge of sexual battery.

"This is a felony charge," Lamar said.

The judge explained under state law, the maximum penalty for sexual battery is 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

ESPN Analyst Benefit Speaker
Lee Corso, ESPN College GameDay analyst will be the guest speaker for the Boys and Girls Club Steak and Steak dinner on April 25, at the National Guard Armory in Batesville.

Corso, a product of the Dade County, Florida Boys Club, has for the past 15 years worked with ESPN.

His television career came after 28 years as a football coach in both the professional and college levels.

Corso is famous for his "picks" during the College GameDay broadcast. His wearing of the mascot heads during their broadcasts proves as a prime motivational enticement for teams from both sides.

Come to the National Guard Armory in Batesville on April 25 to see which state school’s hat Corso will wear.

While in college at Florida State University, Corso and his roommate, Burt Reynolds, both attained numerous awards.

Elderly Couple Falls Victim to House-Chores Check Scam
A local bank camera caught this man cashing the scam victim’s check.

Do you know him or did he do work for you? If so, call city police at 563-5653.


An elderly Eureka Street couple fell victim this week to a scam in which what was supposed to be a $30 check turned into one for $4,030.

"We want to catch these people," Batesville Police Department Major Tony Jones said Thursday.

And, Jones worries that other citizens may have dealt with the scammers who seek to do chores. If so, he wants them to contact the police department.

"We could have more victims here," Jones said. "We just need to know and the quicker the better."

Police have a hunch the criminals involved are the same ones who pulled off similar crimes Monday in Winona and Tuesday in Grenada in which check amounts were altered.

Burglar Gets State Prison Time, Fines


A Panola County man entered a plea of guilty to two counts of burglary of a dwelling in Circuit Court on Tuesday.

Thuron J. Williams, 18, of 529 Green Rd., Pope, pled guilty and received a sentence of three years in the state department of corrections and seven years post-release supervision on each count.

The burglaries took place on May 23, 2002, and Oct. 25, 2002.

Following an explanation of rights, Justice Court Judge Ann Lamar told Williams the maximum and minimum sentence for the crimes he committed.

"I could sentence you to 25 years in the state department of corrections," she said. "There is no agreement between the attorneys which means this is an open plea."

"I did not make Mr. Williams a plea offer, because I did not know what to do with him," Assistant District Attorney Robert Kelly said.

City Re-Inks With BFI for Garbage Collection
Citing service satisfaction and fear that going out for bids might result in higher prices, Batesville’s city board opted to extend the garbage collection contract with Browning-Ferris Industries for three more years.

The expiring three-year contract included an automatic three-year renewal clause which meant the city could or could not advertise.

"It’s a calculated decision," Mayor Bobby Baker said with regard to not bidding the service.

For the first year of the contract there will be no increase for customers who pay $7.50 a month for weekly curbside container pickup.

The city pays BFI $7.26 per customer, retaining the remainder to cover billing and other costs.