Meridian Star

February 27, 2013

Assault charge upgraded to murder


Associated Press

GULFPORT, Miss. —  

Harrison County deputies have upgraded an aggravated assault charge against a Gulfport man to murder after a housemate he's accused of beating died.

The Sun Herald reports Authorities had arrested 40-year-old Johnny Otis Owens III on Monday after they were called to a home in Gulfport.

Sheriff's Maj. Ron Pullen says 50-year-old Larry Johnson had been in critical condition at a local hospital when his family agreed to remove him from life support Tuesday afternoon.

Justice Court Judge Diane Ladner had set Owens' bond on the assault charge at $500,000. She dismissed the assault charge and increased the bond to $1 million on the murder charge.

It was unclear whether Owens has an attorney.