Thu. May 23rd, 2024

A Mississippi man has been sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without parole after he was found guilty by a jury this week.

District Attorney Kassie Coleman announced 35-year-old Planereo Bell was found guilty of two counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

After the 2-day trial, Circuit Judge Charles Wright held a sentencing hearing Tuesday. Coleman said the state presented evidence of Bell’s habitual offender status: previous convictions for armed robbery, grand larceny and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to a news release, Bell was arrested September 3, 2018, by the Meridian Police Department after shooting Viola Smith and Michael Smith. He was indicted the following year but his trial has been postponed due to subsequent indictments on other charges and delays caused by the pandemic.

“This verdict and sentence ensures our community is safe from further violent acts perpetrated by Planereo Bell. He is a violent, career criminal who shot his own family members. Both the victims and their neighbors testified during the trial. We cannot prosecute cases without witness cooperation and I am thankful the Smith family has remained patient as we pursued this conviction.”

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |