2 accused of plotting to kill Grenada DA

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Closing arguments are scheduled Monday in the racketeering trial of two men accused of a prison plot to hire a hitman to kill the Grenada County district attorney.

Testimony ended Friday in the weeklong trial of Charlie Gavin and Charles McCullough, who were in the federal prison in Yazoo City when they allegedly plotted in May 2008 to have District Attorney Doug Evans killed.

Gavin allegedly agreed to pay a supposed hitman $22,000 through a third inmate, who would get $500. Prosecutors say the third inmate was an informant.

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McCullough is accused of passing on the supposed hitman’s number to Amanda Stacy of Battle Creek, Mich., who called the man and gave him instructions.

U.S. District Judge David Bramlette dismissed racketeering charges Friday against Stacy and Linda Salley of Tupelo, saying there was no evidence the women were part of a conspiracy.

According to the indictment, Stacy called the supposed hitman, gave him a description of “Victim 1” and gave him instructions to call another woman once he had “taken care of” that person.

Stacy may have known something fishy was going on but it would be a stretch to say she knew she was talking about a contract to murder Evans, the judge ruled.

He had dismissed a racketeering charge against Mae Ree McMillian in January.

Gavin’s attorney, John Colette, argued Friday that the government’s case is built on the word of an inmate who fooled the FBI to work out a deal for himself.

The informant, who is from Detroit, was serving time at the Yazoo City prison for two bank robberies in Michigan. Some federal inmates from Michigan were moved to the Yazoo prison because of gang violence.