courthouse file

Lauderdale County Courthouse

A jury has convicted a Lauderdale County man of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, District Attorney Kassie Coleman announced Wednesday.

Alfonzo McDonald, 34, was sentenced to life without parole in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

According to a news release, Circuit Judge Charles W. Wright Jr. sentenced McDonald after The State of Mississippi submitted evidence of McDonald’s status as a violent habitual offender pursuant to Mississippi Code § 99-19-83.

Wright said in the news release that sentencing McDonald under the habitual violent offender statute was appropriate to protect not only the citizens of Lauderdale County, but also to protect citizens of the entire State of Mississippi.

According to court officials, McDonald was arrested on Jan. 1, 2018, after the Meridian Police Department found him to be in possession of a loaded firearm during the execution of a search warrant.

He was indicted later that year, but his trial was postponed due to subsequent indictments on other charges and delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. McDonald was previously been convicted of three violent felonies: he was convicted of armed robbery on April 13, 2004, a second armed robbery on March 27, 2006, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer on May 30, 2013.

“McDonald is a career violent offender,” Coleman said in the release. “This verdict and sentence ensures our community is safe from further violent acts perpetrated by him."

The Meridian Police Department investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kate Martin and Tommy Whitfield.

McDonald is also under indictment as a violent habitual felon in Lauderdale County for two other pending felony charges, a burglary of a dwelling and a capital murder. Trials in those two cases will be scheduled by the court at a later date.

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