Men sentenced after pleading guilty in 2011 murder of disabled man

Both men have been in prison since 2011 and will receive credit for time served.

Men sentenced after pleading guilty in 2011 murder of disabled man

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Two men were sentenced this week after pleading guilty to the 2011 murder of a handicapped man in Columbus.

Thirty-five-year-old Omar Beard of Columbus pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter. He will serve 20 years in prison and be eligible for parole after 10 years.

Thirty-four-year-old Cortez Williams of Illinois pleaded guilty Friday to depraved heart murder. He was also sentenced to 20 years in prison, which will run day-for-day.

Both men have been in prison since 2011 and will receive credit for time served.

The men assisted 41-year-old Derrick Bankhead in the robbery and murder of Bankhead’s cousin, Eddie, on July 11, 2011.

Derrick was the mastermind of the plan, while Beard assisted in robbery and Williams committed the murder by shooting Eddie. Both Beard and Williams had weapons.

Eddie Bankhead was handicapped and wheelchair-bound.

Derrick is currently serving a life sentence for capital murder for his role. He was sentenced in August.

“Killing another person is as evil as it gets, but when the victim is disabled and defenseless, there is an entirely different element of evil in that,” said General Hood said. “I hope Eddie Bankhead’s family finds peace in knowing these criminals are locked up. I thank Judge Coleman for making that happen.”

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