HAZLEHURST, MS (WLBT) – A Copiah County man gets the death sentence after confessing he killed a Wesson pawn shop operator in September 2009.
The jury returned the unanimous decision after deliberating for just over an hour and ten minutes.
25- year-old Erik Hollie pleaded guilty to the murder then asked to for the death penalty.
Hollie stood up in court and told the jury considering his fate that he was guilty. He had confessed to the crime the day after he was arrested in September of 2009, and told investigators he wanted the death penalty.
He got what he wanted for shooting 54-year-old Denmon Ward at least five times in the robbery of Ward's Pawn Shop in downtown Wesson.
Hollie had also robbed a convenience store in Georgetown the day before and was caught on surveillance tape during the commission of that crime.
The star witness in the trial was Milton Twiner, the chief investigator for Copiah County, who had gotten the confession on tape.
"He wanted what he got. He asked for the death penalty, it's a crime that warranted the death penalty, and a jury of his peers handed him the death penalty. He showed no remorse at any time during the whole thing, he was kind of, he was real cooperative, he was up front with it, I just wish that he had told me how it happened," said Twiner.
In death penalty cases, there is an automatic appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Families on both sides had very little to say to the media.
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