Winston County Man Loses Appeal


JC Higginbotham
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear a post-conviction petition filed by J.C. Higginbotham who wanted a new trial on grounds that his guilty plea was involuntary.

Higginbotham was one of four people arrested in 2007 shooting death of 71-year-old L.S. Vowell of McCool, whose body was found Dec. 9 in a chicken house in southern Winston County.

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Higginbotham pleaded guilty to capital murder in 2008 and was sentenced to life without parole.

A Winston County judge denied his post-conviction petition in 2011. The state Court of Appeals did the same in February.

The Appeals Court says the court record showed the trial judge extensively questioned Higginbotham about his plea and the sentence he would face and Higginbotham told the judge he understood.