By Josh Mitchell
Corinth Today News Editor
A 28-year-old man pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in Alcorn County Circuit Court on Thursday morning.
Michael Lee Meeks was originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder, but the state agreed to reduce the charges to second-degree murder.
Meeks fatally shot Archie Wayne Williams and Jeanette Martha Gray on April 1, 2015.
He also pleaded guilty to grand larceny for stealing a truck that belonged to Gray.
Meeks was sentenced to 40 years on each count of second-degree murder with seven years suspended on each count. That gave him 33 years to serve on each count, but the murder sentences will run at the same time.
He was given five years to serve on the grand larceny charge.
With all three counts combined he will serve a total of 38 years in prison. He also has to finish serving time in a separate case for shooting into an occupied dwelling.
Alcorn County Circuit Court Judge John White handed down the sentence recommended by the state.
Prior to pleading guilty to the murder charges, Meeks underwent a mental competency examination to see if he was fit to stand trial. The exam determined that he was competent.
Meeks declined to say anything when given the opportunity by the judge. However, his attorney, Tyler Moss, said Meeks has had a tough life. Meeks is a tragic example of what drugs and alcohol can do to a person, Moss added. However, Moss said this does not excuse what happened to the victims in the case.
Meeks would take that day back if he could, said Moss, who also requested that his client be placed into protective custody in prison.
Judge White said the sentence of the victims in the case is forever and that he hopes Meeks comes out of prison a better person. The judge said he is saddened by what happened to the victims and that he hopes Meeks feels remorse as well.