A man accused of capital murder in the death of his disabled cousin will stand trial this week for the second time.
Jury selection began Monday for the re-trial of Derrick Bankhead, 40, who was arrested and charged for the July 2011 shooting death of 35-year-old Eddie Bankhead. The defendant is accused of helping plan a robbery at Eddie Bankhead’s College Street home. Eddie Bankhead was shot during the robbery.
Derrick Bankhead was one of four suspects arrested for the shooting.
Eddie Bankhead had a severe disability that restricted him to a walker.
Another Lowndes County jury found Derrick Bankhead guilty in September 2016. Later that month, Circuit Judge Lee Coleman granted the defendant a new trial after his attorney, Mark Williamson of Starkville, found District Attorney Scott Colom had a conflict of interest prosecuting the case.
Williamson found Colom had “stood in” to represent Derrick Bankhead at a hearing in Columbus Municipal Court a few weeks after Bankhead’s arrest, several years before Colom was elected District Attorney. Colom agreed Derrick Bankhead was entitled to a new trial but said he hadn’t remembered representing the defendant at the hearing and argued he hadn’t done anything improper.
Patrick Beasley, with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, is prosecuting the new trial.
Derrick Bankhead’s previous conviction came after a trial of several days during which his co-defendant, 37-year-old Michael Ross, testified against him.
Derrick Bankhead and Ross were two of four suspects indicted for capital murder in the case, along with 34-year-old Omar Beard and 34-year-old Cortez Williams. Trials for Ross, Beard and Williams are all set for February.