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franklin county times

Hayes, convicted murderer, up for parole in March

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 11, 2001
Nearly 10 years after his 82-year-old mother-in-law was found bludgeoned in her home, Ronald Gough wants to make sure her killer remains behind bars.
According to Circuit Court records, Hayes was sentenced to life in prison in 1992 after pleading guilty to capital murder. His accomplice, against whom capital murder charges were dismissed, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was released from prison after serving seven and a half years.
The Mississippi State Parole Board is currently reviewing Hayes' case and could parole Hayes on March 7, the official date of his parole eligibility.
In 1992, serving a life sentence meant those convicted were eligible for parole after being behind bars for at least 10 years, said Ken Jones of the Mississippi Department of Corrections Department of Internal Affairs.
Hayes is currently housed at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility in Woodville in the southwestern portion of the state, Jones said.
Gough said he found Powell on a "beautiful spring evening" on March 6, 1991, after his wife called him at work and reported something suspicious at the home of her mother, who lived next door.
Three men were charged in the crime  Hayes, who would later plead guilty to capital murder; Bryant, who would later serve time for armed robbery; and a third suspect who was not charged in exchange for his turning state's evidence against Hayes and Bryant.
The three had approached Powell at her home and asked to use the phone because their truck had broken down. After Powell loaned them the battery to her car, Hayes struck her with an iron pipe, and the three robbed her of her money.
Residents who wish to oppose the release of Hayes may call the Mississippi Parole Board at 601-354-7716 or write to the Mississippi Parole Board, c/o Chairman Donald Pope, 201 West Capitol Street, Jackson, MS, 39201.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.