Sheriff intent on keeping six-time felon in jail

Bobby Floyd Marion Jr.

On Feb. 12, Bobby Floyd Marion Jr., of Plantersville, was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and violation of Parole.

Marion, 52, was out on parole via the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), as part of the Mississippi criminal justice reform program.

The plan is to send fewer people to jail or prison in Mississippi. And help those leaving incarceration to get back to a normal life, including a job, so they don't wind up back in the system.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson doesn’t believe the plan is working.

In 1986, Marion had been sentenced and convicted of numerous felonies.

“So resentencing and criminal justice reform is working real good,” Johnson said sarcastically. “Now he (Marion) was running around with a gun. We have him. We’re not the Mississippi Department of Corrections — he’s in our jail and I’m not turning him out, until somebody makes me.”

Besides this last felony, possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, Marion also faces misdemeanor narcotic offenses related to the 2019 arrest.

“He came through a check-point, as the passenger of the vehicle. The driver got out. He had a firearm in his boot,” said Lee County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Len Schaefer. “The deputy, who was watching the passenger (Marion) saw him fiddling with a backpack which was on his lap. “The deputy ordered him to put the backpack on the floor board and step out of the car. Marion got out — the deputies searched him and then the backpack, finding a gun in the backpack.”

In 1986, he was convicted of armed robbery, aggravated assault and several counts of burglary of a dwelling.

Marion, who was 20-years-old at that time, was sentenced to 20 years for the Armed Robbery and a Life Sentence for Aggravated Assault.

In Mississippi a “life sentence” is 32-years.

A capital life sentence for capital murder is life in prison without parole.

Marion’s sentence was aggravated assault because “He (Marion) shot a guy in the head, but the guy didn’t die,” Schaefer said.

Probation had little effect on the convicted felon.

In 2010, Marion was arrested for domestic violence, simple assault and a parole violation. MDOC let him out.

In 2017, Marion was handed down a court order for parole violation. MDOC released him again.

In 2018, he was once again picked up on a parole violation and released once again by MDOC.

“He’ll be presented as a habitual before the next grand jury,” Johnson said.

A habitual offender, repeat offender, or career criminal is a person convicted of a new crime who was previously convicted of two felony crime(s). Marion has had a total of six felonies.

“When we do that, if we gat a conviction they have to serve their sentence day per day,” Johnson said. “In other words if they get five years, they have to serve all five years. They can not be released.”

The MDOC can be reached at (601) 359-5600.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Department can be reached at (662) 841-9040.

“Right now, the criminals have more rights than the victims under this system (criminal justice reform),” Johnson said.

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