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Legislators work to get gang bill passed in House, Senate

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30 year old Sherry Lynn Emile, of Vancleave, pled guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping and one count of Kidnapping earlier this week. Back in July of 2015, Emile committed the crime along with six other people when they kidnapped a 30-year-old woman, beat and held her against her will at a drug house in Biloxi. Now Emile will be serving 30 years as the ring leader in the kidnapping.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Krebs sentenced Emile on count one: Conspiracy to Commit Kidnapping to five years of Post Release Supervision, court costs, $1000 fine, $150 to the victim’s compensation fund.  On count two: Kidnapping, she was sentenced to 30 years with 23 years to serve, the remainder to serve on Post Release Supervision, court costs, $1000 fine, $150 to the crime victims compensation fund.  Count one will run consecutive to count two. 

All seven defendants charged in the crime pled guilty; two have been sentenced (Christopher Gray and Sherry Emile) and the remaining five (Shanna Cox, Nathaniel Etsinger, Jeremy Widel, Dylan Odom, and Malcolm McDaniel) will be sentenced in the near future. 

The people who participated in the kidnapping, were a part of the Simon City Royals street gang and Greene County District Attorney Tony Lawrence says that gang activity has become an issue.

“Organized criminal gang activity is a growing and continuing problem all over the state,” said District Attorney Tony Lawrence. “In just the past two days, Simon City Royal gang members have been sentenced for acts of violence in Jackson and Harrison counties.  Criminal gangs’ reign of terror must come to an end.  I hope the Legislature recognizes the need to pass into law the gang bill, which are filed as HB 541 and SB 2868.”

Lawrence added that the gang law is much needed.

“The new gang law would really help us go after what we are seeing in terms of criminal gang activity,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said that gangs, like the Simon City Royals, (SCR’s) are recruiting younger children because they know that they will get a lighter sentence.

Both the House and Senate bills have passed out of committee and will soon be taken up on the House and Senate floors respectively.

HB 541, was introduced by Representative Andy Gipson and Senate Bill 2868 was introduced by Senator Brice Wiggins.

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