Glover-Stokes murder trials

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 3, 2012

Back-to-back trials begin Monday for accused killers

By Billy Davis

Panola County Circuit Court will hold back-to-back murder trials beginning next week, including a death penalty jury trial that begins August 13.

Antonio Cortez Glover, of Como, is facing the death penalty for the alleged kidnapping and murder of Tommy “Burnside” Moore in 2011.  

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Authorities allege Glover and two accomplices accused Moore, also of Como, of stealing marijuana from them, and allege they kidnapped and tortured Moore before killing him.

Moore’s burned body was found May 6, 2011 in a drainage ditch on Paul White Road, not far from where his torched Buick was found on nearby Tom Floyd Road. He was 32.

District Attorney John Champion has said the state is not pursuing the death penalty against the two co-defendants, cousins Odell McBrayer and Larry McBrayer.  

Circuit Judge Smith Murphey set the trial for August 13 at a May hearing in Batesville, where he also announced the jury will be sequestered during the trial.

A sequestered jury is isolated from the public, and from media outlets in print and TV, during a trial.

Glover is represented by attorney John Perry of Southaven, who appeared at the May hearing.

In the first murder trial, which begins next Monday, Damion Stokes will stand trial for the 2011 killing of Ira Phillips Jr.

Phillips, who was 20, was shot in the back in what authorities believed was a drug-related incident.

Stokes and three other defendants, JaQuentin Lawson, Derrick Dunston and Michael Ruffin, are charged with capital murder.

The circuit clerk’s office is sending 300 jury summonses for the Stokes trial and another 300 for the Glover trial, said Judge Murphey.

The circuit clerk’s office typically sends about 200 summonses for a trial, said Circuit Clerk Melissa Meek-Phelps.

The circuit clerk said the sheriff’s department is prepared to provide security in and outside the courthouse, and at the hotel where the jury will be sequestered.