Man Sentenced For 1999 Hostage Standoff

(Purvis) -- A man who took four hostages and held police at bay for four hours in February 1999 at Jefferson Todd Educational Center in Purvis has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Mitchell Martin was sentenced Friday by Lamar County Circuit Judge Michael R. Eubanks. Eubanks sentenced Martin, 48, to 80 years on four counts of kidnapping, with 60 years suspended. Upon his release, Martin will be under supervision for 15 years.

Martin had pleaded guilty to the charges. Eubanks also ordered Martin to receive psychological treatment while in prison and to pay $883 in restitution.

Considering his age, ``he has 20 years to serve,'' said Assistant District Attorney Kathy Sones. ``We think that is a significant sentence.''

The incident occurred on Feb. 11, 1999. During the standoff, Martin said he was frustrated with a lack of black teachers in the county school system.

(Copyright 2000 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)