The suspect behind a George County deputy’s murder has been identified.
Rickey Labaron Powell, a 42-year-old Purvis man with a 24-year rap sheet across both Mississippi and Alabama, shot Jeremy Malone during a traffic stop in George County on Thursday. Powell then fled the scene and led other law enforcement officers on a three-county chase that ended with Powell losing his life in Perry County.
Following the incident, WALA-TV out of Mobile, Ala., did a deep dive into Powell’s record with many speculating as to why the lifelong criminal was even out of jail. According to the report, Powell had a record in Mississippi dating back to 2005 and one in Alabama dating back to 1998 when he was just 18 years old.
His first arrest came on a burglary charge that he eventually pleaded guilty to in 1999. He was handed five years with seven months suspended, followed by probation. Court records sifted through by the local TV station show that an 18-year-old woman arrived at her mother’s trailer home and found Powell along with two other men inside. Powell put a sheet over his head in an attempt to hide his identity before fleeing.
Powell’s probation from that incident was revoked by a judge after he failed to check in regularly with his probation officer and failed to pay court-ordered fees. He was sentenced to another five years, a sentencing he argued should be lessened since he did not get credit for the time he previously had served.
“I had 7 months in the Metro Jail when I signed up for probation. I Rickey Powell was toll (sic) I Rickey Powell would have 7 months good time if I got violated of probation, but on my renovation papers it didn’t state that I had 7 months credit on my 5 years probation,” Powell wrote in a letter. “So I request if I may receive my 7 months credit on my 5 years sentence.”
According to the Sun Herald, upon moving to south Mississippi, Powell racked up more charges including forgery, assault, and weapon violations. He even spent time at the Mississippi State Penitentiary for two of those charges.
In 2007, Powell was back in the Mobile area when he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Prosecutors attempted to seek enhanced penalties under the habitual offender law based on the 1999 burglary charge, so the judge issued a warrant, but Powell was never arrested and the case was moved to administrative docket in 2009.
Powell’s latest crime resulted in not only him losing his life but a deputy also losing his life. Malone will be buried on Friday, Jan. 12.
“We just ask that y’all pray for our officers, the family, and George County,” investigator Doug Adams said.
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