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Circuit Court officials release indictments

By By Suzanne Monk/The Meridian Star
Aug. 23, 2001
A Lauderdale County grand jury has indicted a 19-year-old Meridian man for murder in the April 6 shooting death of Antonio Grant.
Marcus "Marco" Earl was arrested the same day and charged with murder. Jail officials said today he has been held at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility on $17,500 bond since that time.
Lt. Wade Johnson of the Meridian Police Department said the fatal shooting happened about noon at the intersection of 32nd Avenue and 13th Street.
Grant was transported to Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, where he died later in the day.
The indictment list also included three murder indictments previously reported against: 1) Peggy Sloan Starns, indicted for murder in the 1984 suffocation death of Angela Schnoor; 2) Johnathan Ruffin, indicted for capital murder in the May 2001 shooting death of Tyrone Moffett; and 3) Morris Griggs, also indicted for capital murder in Moffett's death.
The grand jury also issued a DUI maiming indictment against 26-year-old Christopher L. McCoy, who allegedly led police officer Steven Early on a chase through residential areas of Meridian on Feb. 11, 2000.
At the intersection of 20th Avenue and 18th Street, McCoy's car struck a car driven by Shirley Logan. The Meridian woman was severely injured, and spent two weeks in the hospital following the accident.
Logan has filed a $1 million lawsuit against Early and the city of Meridian claiming that the officer should have broken off what she characterizes as a "high-speed pursuit" through narrow, congested streets. It is not known what effect the indictment will have on the pending lawsuit.
More than 160 indictments were issued, including 21 for violent crimes, 59 crimes against property, 63 for illegal drugs, 15 for DUI and three for miscellaneous charges.
Notably absent were felony bad check indictments, which generally make up a significant percentage of indictments issued in Lauderdale County, but no explanation was available.
District Attorney Bilbo Mitchell was in Clarke County Thursday with the 10th District Circuit Court. Assistant District Attorney Vel Young Heidelberg was in the office in Meridian, but unavailable for comment.
Suzanne Monk is managing editor of The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3229, or e-mail her at smonk@themeridianstar.com.