Murder Victim's Family Raises Questions Of Injustice - - The News for South Mississippi

Murder Victim's Family Raises Questions Of Injustice

The murder of a retired sheriff deputy's wife has her family wondering if his reputation is unfairly tipping the scales of justice.

Angelia McClendon's family remembered her gentle spirit in a funeral service Tuesday. But they're still upset over what happened Monday, when former jail warden Randy McLendon, accused of murder, was allowed to bond out of jail, and received permission to leave the state. 

"Why? How could he take such a precious person's life, because she was so full of life, she loved life," Benay Bailey Ford remembered.

Ford and Pennie Bailey Foreman are mourning the loss of their cousin. Angelia McClendon was shot to death last Thursday.  Randy McClendon, her husband of 20 plus years, is charged with murder. 

"She was a free spirit, she just enjoyed life to the fullest you know. She never met a stranger," Ford said.  

The cousins say they were always close, and at four foot two, they say she was small but had a big heart and larger than life smile.

"This is Angie and Stormie, that's Darius in the background. That's at the waterpark," Ford said pointing to an old family photograph.

While photos are one way the family plans to remember Angelia's kind spirit, they say there are many questions left unanswered. Not only do they want to know what provoked Angelia's death, but they also want to know why Randy McLendon is receiving what they call, preferential treatment.    

"He was treated this way because of his impeccable record. They made that very clear. He was entitled to bond because he'd served his community well and had an impeccable record. His impeccable record's not on trial here. He's on trial for the murder of his wife, not his record. His record, he destroyed when he pulled that trigger after having 30 years of law enforcement training being able to control his own vessel," Foreman said.

The family says that after Monday's court appearance, McLendon left in the front seat of a Gautier Police car. But Captain Ed Williams says that this is protocol for high profile cases like this. 

As for allowing McClendon to travel out of state, Williams says it's up to the bonding company to ensure he makes all of his court appearances.

Angelia's family says many questions remain unanswered, and they vow to keep searching to make sense of all of this.

"Somebody has to speak out for her because he took her voice. We're the only voice she has. She can't speak up for herself. He made sure of that," Ford said.  

The case is still under investigation by Gautier Police.

Randy McClendon posted a $100,000 bond, and was granted permission to go to Arkansas to be with his family.

WLOX News tried to contact McClendon's attorney, but was told he was in court all week, and he did not return our call.    

By Keli Rabon

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