March 2, 2013 10:11:07 PM
Sarah Fowler - [email protected]
Two Columbus men were sentenced in Lowndes County Circuit Court this week after each pleaded guilty to separate drug offenses.
Eli Orr, 30, was sentenced by Judge Lee Howard to 35 years with the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five suspended, for the sale of cocaine. Orr entered an open plea of guilty, which means he did not strike a plea bargain with the district attorney's office and sentencing was solely at the judge's discretion.
Orr was in the midst of a trial for two cocaine-related charges -- a 2008 charge for the sale of cocaine and a 2009 charge for the possession of cocaine -- when he decided to plea guilty after watching a video that showed him selling cocaine to an informant. Orr was originally offered a 12-year sentence by the DA's office but refused.
He had a prior cocaine conviction and could have received up to 60 years in prison as an enhanced sentence.
John Murphy also appeared before Judge Lee Coleman on unrelated drug charges. Murphy was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of hydrocodine with intent to distribute. Murphy pleaded guilty to both charges.
He has a prior drug history and received four years as a habitual offender for the possession of methamphetamine charges. He will serve every day of the four-year sentence. He was sentenced to 20 years with MDOC for the possession of hydrocodine with intent to distribute, with 16 suspended and four to serve. He also received five years post-release supervision.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.