Victim's family outraged by killer's early release

Mark Mouchett (Photo source: MS Dept. of Corrections)
Mark Mouchett (Photo source: MS Dept. of Corrections)

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - The family of a Pascagoula teen shot to death nine years ago was shocked to learn the killer is about to get out of prison.

Mark Mouchett, 54, was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Robert Modica, 16. In 2004, the teen was shot to death in a church parking lot on Halloween while out driving around with friends. Police called the shooting a case of road rage.

In 2006, Mouchett was sentenced to 20 years in prison. But now the Mississippi Department of Corrections says he's eligible for early release.

Family members told WLOX News they're frustrated and fearful knowing Mouchett will soon be back in town.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence is frustrated, too. He released a statement Tuesday, saying, "This is yet another tragic example of why we needed to change the manslaughter statute in Mississippi. This man took the life of a 16-year-old child in our community by shooting him in the head. I think that serving only seven years in MDOC is not sufficient for the act he committed that day."

As of July 1, Mississippi now has a second degree murder charge, which Lawrence said carries a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison.

Right now, Mark Mouchett is in the George County Correctional Facility.

Robert Modica's family said an MDOC official called Monday night to say Mouchett will be released next week, right around the anniversary of the killing.

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