Demetrius Massey, 23, of Carroll County was arraigned Tuesday morning in Carroll County Circuit Court with Fifth District Circuit Judge Clarence Morgan, III presiding.
Massey entered the courtroom escorted by Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver and Carroll-Montgomery Correctional Facility officers. When Morgan called Massey before him to read the indictment and answer questions about his representation, the suspected murderer caused a disruption in court.
Dressed in the standard Mississippi Department of Corrections jumpsuit, Massey began to swear as he approached Morgan. He was then ordered to "be quiet" by correction officers. After five minutes into the arraignment, Massey began to swear louder and was ordered to be removed from the courtroom by Morgan.
Prior to being removed, Massey pleaded not guilty and will be represented by Kosciusko attorney Richard Carter, III.
Massey, who is currently serving a 13-year sentence for burglary, is being held at the Carroll-Montgomery Regional Correctional Facility. According to Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver, he was arrested and convicted in 2013 for his connection to the break-in of a cabin and the Vaiden High School Gym.
Carver said Massey, who lived near Hemphill's home, was questioned during the investigation.
According to Assistant District Attorney Chet Kirkham, a May 5 conference meeting will be held, something that is common with all capital murder cases.
A charge of capital murder, which is incurred when a second crime accompanies a murder, allows for the possibility of a death sentence.
On the morning of December 13, a relative found Hemphill on the floor of her County Road 264 home, dead. She had been stabbed multiple times.
Carroll County Sheriff Jerry Carver said the door near where Hemphill was found was a sliding door, and it did not appear that anything was missing from the residence. The 48 year-old was a nurse at Greenwood-Leflore Hospital.
Members of the Hemphill's family attending the hearing Tuesday, some wearing lapel pens of her image.
Carver said having someone charged with Hemphill's murder may bring a bit of relief to her loved ones.
"At this point this gives some closure," Carver said. "But this family has been through a lot."