A retired Hattiesburg judge has been appointed to preside over the capital murder trial of a man charged in the 2018 shooting deaths of two Brookhaven police officers.
According to reports from the Associated Press, Richard W. McKenzie was appointed July 30 by Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Michael Randolph after two circuit court judges – Michael M. Taylor and David H. Strong Jr. – recused themselves from the case on July 24.
Brookhaven Police Department Cpl. Zach Moak, 31, and patrol officer James White, 35, were shot to death Sept. 29, 2018, while responding to a call about shots being fired at a home in the city. Marquis Flowers was subsequently arrested and charged with the crime, and District Attorney Dee Bates has said he will seek the death penalty.
A trial date has not yet been set for Flowers.
Flowers has been in the Adams County jail since March 23. He was moved there from Central Mississippi Correctional Facility.
Flowers was on parole for a vehicle burglary conviction when Moak and White were killed. After Flowers was arrested and charged in the killings of the officers, he was sent to the state prison system to finish serving that sentence.
On Oct. 28, more than a year after the killings, Flowers was indicted on two counts of capital murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He pleaded not guilty Nov. 12 to all three counts.
Flowers is charged in Adams County with stealing a vehicle and leading officers on a high-speed chase in 2017.