Former Murder Suspect Gets 10 Years for Burglary


LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) — A former suspect cleared of murder charges is sentenced to 10 years for burglary.

And 44-year-old Earnest Talley likely will have to serve most of the time since he was sentenced as a habitual offender because of a string of 31 arrests dating back 15 years and at least two felony burglary convictions during that time.

In 2006, Talley served just 10 months of a seven-year sentence.

He pleaded guilty in Lowndes County Circuit Court to Jan. 14 burglary of a home on Sand Road in Lowndes County. He was one of three people charged in the case. Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Mistrot caught the trio in a truck not far from the burglary scene and found a television and other items taken from the home.

Talley had been charged with capital murder earlier this year in the 1997 murder of George Wilbanks, a high-profile Columbus cold case that has gotten national attention. But in August, a Grand Jury refused to indict Talley on that charge, citing a lack of evidence.

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