Purvis, MS 15th Circuit Court District Attorney Hal Kittrell announces that Abram “Pete” Franklin, age 32, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi pled guilty to Hindering Prosecution and Possession of a Stolen Firearm and was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Prentiss G. Harrell to five (5) years for the Hindering prosecution charge and to five (5) years for the Possession of a Stolen Firearm charge to be served in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The two five (5) year sentences, which are the maximum sentences for these charges, are to run concurrent. Curtis Banks, age 29, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi also pled guilty in this case to Possession of a Controlled Substance While in Possession of a Firearm. Banks was sentenced to thirty (30) years with twenty (20) years suspended and ten (10) years to serve in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. This sentence is to begin to run after the completion of the sentence Banks is serving on his Forrest County Convictions.
These charges stem from the Capital Murder of Hattiesburg Police Department Officers Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate. Curtis Banks was found guilty of assisting the murderer, Marvin Banks, in Forrest County. After committing that crime, Curtis Banks hid in the attic of the apartment of Abram “Pete” Franklin. Franklin’s allowing Banks to avoid apprehension led to Franklin’s charge of Hindering Prosecution and Possession of a Stolen Firearm. When Curtis Banks was apprehended at Franklin’s apartment, he was found to be in possession of a large amount of controlled substance and multiple firearms, which led to his Lamar County charge.
District Attorney Hal Kittrell states, “We commend the work done by all agencies involved in the extensive investigation of all these crimes that stemmed from the murder of Officers Deen and Tate. In our cases here in Lamar County, the work of Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Hattiesburg Police Department specifically led to the apprehension of Franklin and Banks. We can only hope these convictions provide some level of peace to the families of these heroes, to their brothers and sisters in blue and to our community that has mourned this incredible loss.”