Two plead guilty in 2011 Columbus killing of disabled man

Cortez Williams (l) and Omar Beard

A judge in Lowndes County has handed down prison sentences for two men who pleaded guilty this week to helping a man rob and kill his disabled cousin.

Posted: Feb. 8, 2019 6:26 PM
Updated: Feb. 8, 2019 6:27 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - A judge in Lowndes County has handed down prison sentences for two men who pleaded guilty this week to helping a man rob and kill his disabled cousin.

The Mississippi attorney general's office says Cortez Williams, 34, of Illinois, entered a gulity plea Friday to depraved heart murder and was given 20 years in prison without parole for the July 2011 shooting death of Eddie Bankhead.

Omar Beard, 35, of Columbus, pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter and was given a 20-year prison sentence but would become eligible for parole in 10 years.

Prosecutors say Williams pulled the trigger and Beard helped rob the victim, who was bound in a wheelchair.  However, it was victim's cousin, Derrick Bankhead, 41, who was the mastermind behind the plot. He was sentenced in August to life in prison for capital murder.

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