Suspect in Wiggins’ killings ordered to provide DNA sample

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A judge has ordered a suspect in the killing of two Wiggins police officers to provide blood or saliva samples for DNA testing.

Stone County Circuit Judge Roger Clark issued the order Tuesday. At the same hearing, Ronald Husband pleaded innocent to two counts of capital murder in the November deaths of officers Odell Fite, 48, and Brandon Breland, 23.

Assistant District Attorney Sean Tindell said the state wants Husband’s DNA to compare it with DNA found on items left at the scene of the Nov. 27 shooting.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“At the scene, we found a cap, sunglasses and a gold chain,” Tindell said. “In a videotape tape from Forrest General Hospital taken the day of the crime, Husband is seen wearing these items.”

Husband’s attorney, Don Medley of Hattiesburg, objected. Clark ruled there was probable cause to allow the DNA testing.

Clark also gave the attorneys 10 days to decide on a trial date.

The two officers were shot responding to an emergency call from a Wiggins home.

The call was made by Frances Arnold, who told investigators that after she had left her husband at Forrest General Hospital, she returned to Wiggins for clothes to take to the hospital.

Prosecutors said Husband, 46, who had been at the hospital, allegedly arrived at Arnold’s home, struck her several times, dragged her to the bedroom and attempted to tear off her clothes.

After the officers arrived at the home, Husband managed to get Fite’s department-issued handgun, according to court records. Both officers were shot twice.

The grand jury also indicted Husband as a habitual offender.

Tindell said Husband had been sentenced in Forrest County in 1981 to five years in prison after he was convicted of sexual battery. In a Pike County case, he was convicted of harassing phone calls in 1991 and sentenced to two years.