2007 club shooting trial rescheduled
by Rory Doyle
Apr 24, 2013 | 2744 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The First Judicial District of Bolivar County wrapped up its spring session last week in Rosedale with news of the continuation of the Anthony Lafayette case.

Circuit Clerk Marilyn Kelly said the scheduled trial began with enough jurors to begin court, but due to strikes from both sides, there were not enough remaining jurors.

The prosecution and the defense are allowed a certain number of objections to jurors, which are called strikes.

The case will begin again in the fall session, which convenes in October.

Lafayette, who was 28 at the time, was initially charged with murder in the Oct. 20, 2007 shooting of Earnest C. Booth, 23, of Rosedale, at Club Checkers in Benoit.

"Unfortunately, at times it happens that the jurors are purged and there aren't enough for a full jury," said Kelly.

"It's very likely this will be resolved next time around," added Kelly, after mentioning that last week was the first time a session was held in Rosedale since reconstruction projects had been going on at the courthouse.

"Sometimes it takes a while for the jurors to get back in the groove of things."

In January of 2012, the Mississippi Supreme Court announced it would hear Layfayette's appeal to the 2009 changed conviction of manslaughter.

During sentencing, the charge was reduced to manslaughter and Lafayette was sentenced to serve 18 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

According to Bolivar Commercial archives, former Bolivar County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Thompson, who was in charge of the initial investigation, said there were between 150-200 people on the dance floor at the time of the shooting.

"Witnesses said that Booth stepped on (Lafayette 's) foot and the man would not accept an apology," said Thompson. "From what I understand, it escalated from there.”

Booth was struck over the right eye by a bullet and died on the scene.

After the shooting, Lafayette fled the scene but later turned himself into authorities.

“He had left the scene and went to a home close by,” said Thompson. “He later called the sheriff’s department and gave his location. He was transported by deputies to the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, were he was processed.”