Tuesday, 20 January 2015 10:39

Convicted Killer of Postal Worker Gets Additional 25 Years

Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MGU) Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MGU) SCDAG, MGU
MEMPHIS – Jan. 16, 2015 - A man sentenced in November to life in prison for killing a postal worker in 2012 at an ATM machine in Parkway Village was sentenced Friday to an additional 25 years in prison for other crimes, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
After a trial two months ago, James Holmes was automatically sentenced to life in prison for killing Roneccia Luster, 44, as she sat in her car at a drive-thru ATM in the 3100 block of South Perkins near Knight Arnold.
Holmes’ mother testified that he confessed to her that he shot and killed the woman around 7 p.m. on Oct. 9, 2012. The shooting was captured on surveillance video.
The Criminal Court jury also convicted him of attempted especially aggravated robbery, attempted first-degree murder, attempted carjacking and employment of a firearm with intent to commit a felony.
On Friday Judge W. Mark Ward sentenced Holmes, 21, on each of those crimes, including an additional 25 years with no parole for the attempted murder of a man who tried to intervene.
Sentences for the other crimes – ranging from 6 to 12 years - will be served concurrently.
The judge called Holmes “a menace to society” who has no regard for human life and no remorse for his crimes.
A codefendant, Bishardo Higgs, 21, testified against Holmes, telling the jury that he was with Holmes that evening and that he saw Holmes shoot the victim, Roneccia Luster.
Higgs later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit carjacking and was sentenced to six years in prison.
After the shooting, the two defendants tried to carjack a man pulling out of a nearby restaurant. The man was shot twice, but survived his wounds.
The case was handled by Ray Lepone, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MGU) Prosecution Team, and by Reginald Henderson, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Special Prosecution Unit (SPU) which seeks the maximum sentence allowed by law for repeat felony offenders.
MGU handles homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members and special cases assigned by the District Attorney General.
The prosecution team works daily with the MGU Operations team, using local ordinances and state and federal laws to hold offenders accountable.
About half of the unit’s caseload involves of homicides, with the rest involving violent crimes such as aggravated robberies, kidnappings, rapes, attempted murders and narcotics cases.