Vancleave man’s conviction in double homicide before Appeals Court

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Vancleave man’s appeal of his 2005 conviction in a double homicide in Jackson County will be heard Sept. 26 by the state Court of Appeals.

The case is among dozens the Appeals Court will hear during the September-October term. The court will not hear oral arguments in some cases. They will instead rely on attorneys’ briefs to make their decisions.

James Dahl was convicted of two counts of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison for the 2003 deaths of Harold Neal and Sheryl Sellers. He was sentenced to life without parole on both counts.

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Dahl was one of two suspects in the killings of Neal, 48, of Gautier, and Sellers, 49, of Pascagoula.

Neal and Sellers were found dead near a houseboat rented by James Hogancamp, who pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the case.

Hogancamp testified that he and Dahl planned to kill Neal to settle a drug debt and steal crack cocaine.

Dahl testified he felt trapped into helping his friend, Hogancamp, conceal the slaying. Dahl said he feared Hogancamp would kill him and his family and he denied taking part in the murders.

Prosecutors said Dahl and Hogancamp covered the bodies with debris on a marshy island near the houseboat. The decomposing bodies were discovered by police 14 days after the murders.

In another case, the Appeals Court has scheduled arguments on Oct. 2 for the appeal of William Scott of his conviction of capital murder in the 2002 shooting death of a Jackson woman.

Scott, of Decatur, Ga., was sentenced by a Hinds County judge in 2005 to life in prison without parole.

Scott was charged in the July 9, 2002, shooting death of Paula Dinkins, who was killed in an apparent robbery attempt at the business where she worked.

Prosecutors said Scott lived in Jackson at the time of the robbery-shooting and was a regular client of the check cashing business where Dinkins worked.

Among cases the Appeals Court will decide using briefs are:

— Doug Rouster’s appeal of his 2005 conviction and 140-year sentence for fatally shooting his girlfriend and wounding her two brothers in Jackson.

Rouster was convicted in Hinds County on one count of murder for killing Rhonda Brown, 20, and two counts of aggravated assault for shooting Chris Brown, 15, and Corderries Brown, 18, at their home at Audubon Grove Apartments in west Jackson on Feb. 16, 2005.

Rouster claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot the two brothers. He testified that he did not shoot or stab Rhonda Brown. He said he couldn’t remember how she was shot or stabbed.

— Mikimie “Kim” Brown’s appeal of her 2006 conviction and life sentence in the murder of Gerald Dillon of Foxworth.

Prosecutors said Brown, of Columbia, went to Dillon’s residence on Dec. 12, 2000, shot and killed him. Prosecutors said Brown was jealous because Dillon had taken up with another woman.

— Reginald Rogers’ appeal of his 2005 conviction of manslaughter in a Vicksburg lounge shooting that left one man dead and two other patrons hurt.

Rogers was convicted in Warren County in the Aug. 24, 2004, shooting death of Danny Woodland at the crowded Hill Top Lounge. Rogers was convicted of aggravated assault for wounding two others.

Rogers claimed he acted in self defense after Woodland shot at him first.

Prosecutors said the evidence showed Woodland was down and posed no threat as Rogers stood over him and shot him in the head.

— Towander Broadhead’s appeal of her 2006 conviction and life sentence for beating her 5-year-old son to death.

Broadhead’s daughter testified in Warren County Circuit Court, where the trial was moved from Jackson County, that the Escatawpa woman beat Kenderick Broadhead on the day of his death in February 2004, using a belt, a book, a broomstick and a plastic rod used to open blinds.

Broadhead testified that she did not realize the boy was injured and only meant to correct the child, who kept missing 16 as he tried to count to 20.