Convicted Felon Accused In Stabbing Death Of Lee County Man


LEE COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – A convicted felon is accused of stabbing a man to death.
Lee County deputies were able to quickly make an arrest.
But investigators say the deadly incident highlights what they call a major problem with the criminal justice system.

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While a suspect was quickly arrested in the latest Lee County homicide, the sheriff says the suspect should have never been out of jail in the first place.

“I can stand here today and tell you how aggravating this gets,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.

Sheriff Johnson says 54-year-old Maurice Agnew was arrested at the scene of Sunday afternoon’s fatal stabbing on County Road 2204.

Deputies found 56-year-old Randall Cowley, with injuries to his chin, and a stab wound in his shoulder and a stab wound in his chest. Two nurses happened to be passing by and tried to help save Cowley until deputies arrived. He later died at the hospital.

The sheriff says Cowley and Agnew knew each other. Deputies believe the two had an argument about property allegedly taken from a car parked on the roadside during the snowstorm.

“Our victim and suspect were in some type of talk, or stage, discussing that property when this took place,” Sheriff Johnson said.

Johnson believes Cowley was stabbed and then dropped off at a nearby location where deputies found him.

As for Agnew, the sheriff says the Lee County man is no stranger to law enforcement.
Agnew was convicted of aggravated assault for slashing a man’s throat in 2018. He served two years and five months of a twenty-year sentence before being released.
Johnson says Agnew’s case is not unique.

“When it comes to violent offenders, that are let out here on our street because of some law that says you can have fourteen different chances and have everything you’ve done expunged, there’s no record, that’s a very dangerous society and precedent that has been set and I can’t support and don’t, and this is just another example,” Johnson said.

Justice Court Judge Chuck Hopkins set the bond for Agnew at one million dollars. Agnew is on probation for the 2018 felony conviction.

Cowley’s body is being sent to Pearl for an autopsy.