Mississippi man charged with murdering two policemen found dead in jail

By Brendan O'Brien
Marvin Banks, 29, is shown in this undated police handout photo provided by the Hattiesburg Police Department in Hattiesburg, Mississippi May 10, 2015. REUTERS/Hattiesburg Police Dept/Handout via Reuters

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - A Mississippi man charged with shooting and killing two police officers in May was found unresponsive in his jail cell and later was pronounced dead, a sheriff's office official said on Saturday.

Marvin Banks, 30, faced two counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, police officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 25, who were gunned down in during a routine traffic stop on May 9. It was the first killing of a police officer in the city for more than 30 years.

Deputies found Banks unconscious and alone in a jail cell on Friday, Forrest County Sheriff's Office spokesman Nick Calico said.

Paramedics attempted to revive Banks before taking him to a hospital where he pronounced dead at 7:40 p.m., according to Calico.

Calico said the cause of death was unknown. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will handle the case and an autopsy will be performed, he said.

His brother, Curtis Banks, and Joanie Calloway have also been charged in the case with accessory after the fact of capital murder. A fourth person, Cornelius Clark, was charged with obstruction of justice.

Several other people face charges of obstruction of justice, rendering criminal assistance to a fleeing felon and possession of a stolen weapon.


(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Frank McGurty and Alison Williams)