Marcus Malone Case -- Timeline Of Events - - The News for South Mississippi


Marcus Malone Case -- Timeline Of Events

Sept. 13, 1999

Police arrested Marcus Malone on traffic violations and drug charges. It took place on McCall Street not far from where Malone lived.

At the time a woman who did not wish to be identified told WLOX News she heard a man pleading for his life three doors down from where police arrested Malone.

"He was hollering out 'Somebody help me. Anybody help me,' and that is all he said," the unidentified woman told WLOX news. "I think I heard him say 'I don't want to die.'"

Sept. 15, 1999

From the beginning, the NAACP and the family claimed foul play had taken place.

"At some point in time, a beating took place to gain control of Marcus," Jackson County NAACP Director Curley Clark said.

Two men in the jail the night Malone was brought to his cell said Malone was unconscious. One of the men said that police told him Malone had overdosed.

"When they dropped that man on the ground face first, even if he as overdosing, he would of grunted or something," inmate Kenneth Turner said. "[He had] no reaction at all."

Police said later that night they found Malone dead on the floor of his cell. George Sherman, Jackson County's coroner at that time, said there was no evidence of foul play.

Moss Point Police Chief Butch Gager said Malone was not beaten and was conscious when he arrived at the station.

"I believe my officers acted properly," Chief Gager said.

Sept. 19, 1999

Hundreds of Moss Point residents didn't agree. Six days after Malone's death, friends, supporters and family members marched in his memory.

"We are going to join together, and are one at this," Marcus Malone's sister, Mary Malone, said. "Justice will come.

Toxicology tests on the body of Malone showed he had drugs in his system at the time of his death.

Sept. 30, 1999

A grand jury begins hearings on the case.

Oct. 12, 1999

Malone's body was exhumed as part of the investigation. The family asked for a second autopsy to be performed by another forensic expert. That autopsy questioned marks on Malone's body and concluded Malone had been beaten and strangled to death.

Nov. 2, 1999

Grand jury clears the four officers present when Malone was arrested. A report issued to the court from the grand jury said, "while the death is a tragic incident which occurred in our county, we found insufficient evidence to indicate criminal wrongdoing."

"I felt from the time I walked into the station that night, that the officers would be cleared, but I had faith in the justice system, and I believe it has worked as it should," Moss Point Police Chief Butch Gager said.

The county pathologist said Malone died of a heart attack that could have been induced by drug use. The Malone case remained closed until District Attorney Keith Miller sent the autopsy to a well known forensic expert.

July 23, 2000

NAACP officials in Jackson County continue told look for answers in the death of Marcus Malone. Officials with the group call on FBI agents in Washington, Janet Reno, and Jesse Jackson for help, saying local FBI officials are not focusing enough on the Malone case.

The Ocean Springs law firm, Denham and King has files a multi-million dollar civil suit on behalf of Malone's family against the city of Moss Point, various officers, Chief Butch Gager, and Mayor Louis Jackson.

May 5, 2001

Jackson County District Attorney reopens the case based on more evidence he has gathered.

June 6, 2001

Second grand jury begins investigation.

July 19, 2001

Grand jury indicts three officers, Steve Strickler, Chris Weeks, and Derrick Welton. All three were present when Malone was arrested, and all three were charged with manslaughter. A fourth officer who was present at Malone's arrest, Brian Montgomery, was not named in the indictment.

"The grand jury looked at everyone involved with the Malone case, including Brian Montgomery and returned indictments on everyone who warranted it," District Attorney Miller said.

Miller said they presented 22 different witnesses, compared to 12 in the first grand jury.

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