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Alleged accomplice agrees to testify in murder trial

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 13, 2001
A plea agreement has been reached in the case of a Meridian man charged with helping to bury the body of 51-year-old Murray Battle, who died of a gunshot wound in March 2000.
Marquis Adams, 23, of 1652 Lizzy Road, was indicted as an accessory after the fact of murder.
He has agreed to testify against the man indicted for murder in the death, Joseph Ramsey, and a second man also indicted as an accessory, Kelvin D. Ephrim. Both are scheduled for trial March 26.
Adams also agreed to plead guilty to possession of 1.5 grams of cocaine discovered in his car Aug. 25. He was sentenced Friday in Lauderdale County Circuit Court to two years jail time (suspended) and two years probation.
Assistant District Attorney Lisa Howell said prosecutors agreed to the plea bargain because of Adams' willingness to plead guilty to the drug charge and his promise to "cooperate and testify truthfully" during the murder trial.
The man indicted in Battle's murder, Ramsey, surrendered to authorities several days after Battle was reported missing. He led officers to the location of the grave in which he, Adams and Ephrim allegedly buried Battle on March 6.
Investigators said Battle's car, a black Mitsubishi, was found not far from the grave site. Police officials said they suspect the car, bearing a Purple Heart veteran's tag, had been driven there by the suspects.
Adams, who had been released on bond for the accessory charge, has been incarcerated at the Lauderdale County Detention Center on the drug charge since Aug. 26. Ramsey is free on $15,000 bond. Ephrim is free on $5,000 bond.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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