PURVIS, Miss. (WDAM) – A Lamar County man received a sentence of 70 years total for second-degree murder and kidnapping.
15th Circuit Court District Attorney Hal Kittrell announced that 28-year-old Derek Tyrone Crockrum entered a guilty plea on Friday, June 10.
Crockrum was sentenced to the maximum penalty on both charges, 40 years in prison day-for-day for second-degree murder and 30 years in prison for kidnapping.
These charges stem from the April 2021 murder of Faye Cornett and the kidnapping of her 15-year-old daughter.
In 2021, the Lamar County sheriff said the suspect allegedly shot and killed his 38-year-old girlfriend at a residence on Oak Grove Road around 8 a.m. He was then accused of kidnapping the woman’s daughter and driving her to Petal.
Around noon, the girl reportedly escaped the suspect’s vehicle in the parking lot of a Petal store and ran inside to call authorities.
Petal Police and the Forrest County Sheriff’s Department then arrested the suspect a short time later.
“This defendant killed a mother in the presence of her child, then kidnapped that child,” said Kittrell. “We are pleased with the resolution and sentence in this case, as it allows justice to be served without re-traumatizing our child victim with a trial.
“Multiple agencies in our area, including the Lamar County Sheriff’s Office, Hattiesburg Police Department Crime Scene Unit, Petal Police Department and Kid’s Hub Child Advocacy Center, were involved in the investigation of this case. Their hard work brought justice to this family.”
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