August 4, 2020

Mississippi judge frees man serving 120-year sentence for drug charge

A Mississippi man sentenced to 120 years in prison on a drug charge will soon be free.

Circuit Judge Lee Howard freed 66-year-old Felix Wynn, of Starkville, during a hearing Tuesday at the Oktibbeha County Courthouse based on new sentencing guidelines, news outlets reported.

Wynne was convicted in 2006 on two counts of selling cocaine. As a habitual offender, he was given 60 years for each count and a $2 million fine.

Howard resentenced Wynne for the time he has served, 13 years and 10 months, and dropped the fine.

Wynne will be held in the county jail until the Mississippi Department of Corrections processes his paperwork. His attorney, Roy A. Perkins, and the judge believes the paperwork process should take about four days.

Perkins argued that the 120-year sentence was a misinterpretation of the law. Howard initially sentenced Wynn under a statute that orders the maximum sentence with no parole and no chance of early release, according to circuit court documents.

Perkins said Howard was wrong to believe the maximum sentence was the only option, and he cited state Supreme Court precedent from 2017 that a person can, but does not have to, receive a double prison sentence for a second charge, the Commercial Dispatch reported.

Wynne briefly spoke before the court during Tuesday’s hearing, during which he apologized and took full responsibility for the crime, WTVA-TV reported.