SuperTalk Mississippi

Former deputy ruled mentally competent to stand trail for rape charges

PURVIS, Miss. – A former Lamar County deputy sheriff has been ruled mentally competent to stand trail for rape charges.

Averial “Junior” Burnett, 49, was previously convicted of attempted murder in 2014 for trying to kill his step-daughter and wife in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Burnett had paid a fellow inmate to try and do the job.

Following a judges sentence of 60 years for attempted murder, officials say Burnett tried to kill himself by cutting his throat while be driven to the Rankin County prison.

An attempted suicide is what led to a psychological evaluation.

Burnett spent 22 years in law enforcement, most of it with the Hattiesburg Police Department.

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