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Hancock man sentenced to 21 years for 2020 shooting of U.S. Marshal agent

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

A Hancock County man will spend the next 21 years in prison for the July 2020 shooting of a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force agent. 

32-year-old Joseph Dale Sonnier was sentenced after previously pleading guilty to the shooting that occurred at the Siegel Select Gautier, an extended stay hotel, last summer. Agents arrived on the scene to execute an existing arrest warrant when a woman opened the door and told them that Sonnier was in the room. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Sonnier was sitting in the hotel room bathroom and shot two rounds from a High-Point .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol at the USMS agents. One round fired by Sonnier struck a USMS agent in the neck. Sonnier was taken into custody unharmed while the USMS agent was transported to the hospital and treated for the gunshot wound to his neck.

Sonnier was charged with assault of a federal officer and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The warrant originally issued was for two counts of kidnapping, armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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