CARROLLTON – A Carrollton man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for a 2017 murder.
Dameond Brown, 23, of Carrollton pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Carroll County Circuit Court Monday for the shooting death of Dreifus Holmes, 40, of Carrollton on April 30, 2017.
Brown, who was originally charged with capital murder, pleaded guilty to the reduced charges as part of a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office. He was sentenced to serve 30 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, and upon release, is required to pay all court costs, fees, and assessments.
Second degree murder carries a penalty of minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison, while capital murder can incur a death sentence.
Assistant District Attorney Brandon Langford gave a summation of the state’s case against Brown for the murder of Holmes. Langford said Brown shot and killed Holmes on April 30, 2017, after the two men got into an altercation at a night club in North Carrollton.
After the altercation, Holmes left the club, and Brown followed him. Langford said Brown fired once into the car Holmes was driving, and Holmes exited the car and tried to get help at a nearby house when Brown shot him.
Langford said, “In the course of the investigation, several witnesses let law enforcement know where the gun was, where the clothes Mr. Brown was wearing were, and that led to an interview with Mr. Brown where he confessed to the facts of the case.”
According to Carroll County Sheriff Clint Walker, the shooting occurred in the early morning hours of April 30. Holmes, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, was found in the yard of a residence on Highway 17 near County Road 100 in Carroll County. The owners of the property upon which Holmes was found, were awaked by the sounds of gunshots around 1 a.m. and called the authorities.
Walker said Holmes had just left the night club, located on Winona Road in North Carrollton, and money had been stolen from him before the murder.
Carroll County Coroner Mark Stiles pronounced Holmes dead at the scene.
Also arrested in connection with the case are: Richard Earl Brown, 61, of Grenada, who is Brown’s grandfather, and Lakesha Dumes, 40, of Carrollton, Brown’s mother. They were both charged with accessory after the fact to capital murder. According to Walker, those charges are still pending.
Holmes’ mother, Gladys Hodges, was in court Monday when her son’s killer, a young man she has known since he was in high school, pleaded guilty.
“[Brown] graduated high school with my nephew,” Hodges said. “He used to come and visit. When they said who it was, I was surprised because [Dreifus] knew him.”
Hodges explained that Holmes shared a son with Brown’s cousin, the late Teresa Davis, 33, of Grenada, who was shot and killed in a domestic-violence related murder-suicide -- unrelated to Holmes’ shooting -- just seven weeks prior to Holmes’ murder. The child, who was five years old at the time, witnessed his mother’s death, Hodges said.
“[My grandson] lost both his parents within two months of each other,” Hodges said. “He is eight years old now. He does good sometimes, and sometimes he gets upset.”
She said the child lives with his maternal grandmother, and he has been receiving counseling for the trauma he experienced.
Hodges said the guilty plea did give her “some sort of closure” in her son’s death that occurred two-and-a-half years ago.
“I learned that there is a forgiveness in it,” Hodges said. “For us to move on, we are going to have to forgive. I don’t like the act or what [Brown] did, but I’m going to have to forgive. He’s going to have to ask God to forgive him for what he has done.”
Holmes was one of three children, although Hodges said she adopted two other children and “raised a bunch more of them.” He was well-known in the community, and well-liked by those who knew him.
“He was really funny,” Hodges said about her son. “He was outgoing, and he was a fun person.”
Family friend Regina Liddell referred to Holmes as “the heart of the family.”
Hodges said her son cared about others, and he would do things to help those who needed it in his own way. She said after his death, a woman told her about Holmes paying her electric bill out of the goodness of his heart.
“[Dreifus] would do things for people,” Hodges said.
Hodges, who has worked for the Carroll County Emergency Operations Center for decades as a dispatcher, said after the loss of her son, she tries to “live each day as it comes, and tomorrow is going to work itself out.”
“I’ve forgiven [Brown],” Hodges said. “You get upset sometimes, but you have to go on. And in order for me to go on and do what I need to do, I need to forgive. And take each day at a time.”