Monday, November 9, 2015

Bentonia bandit gets life in Flora robbery

Madison-Rankin District Attorney issued the following press release:

 Habitual Offender Sentenced to Life for
Robbery and Assault of 73 Flora Store Clerk

            Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Tony Deshaun Swinney was sentenced to two life sentences in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections after a jury convicted him of Robbery and Conspiracy to Commit Robbery.

On April 2, 2015, brother and sister Tony Swinney and Audrey Swinney, and their cousin, a juvenile, drove to the Bullet’s Convenience store in Flora, Mississippi.  At the store, Tony Swinney and the juvenile entered the store and assaulted the store owner, Pyare Lal, and stole money from the register and from a room behind the counter.  The victim is 73 years old.  Once they had taken the money on hand, they exited the store and were driven away by Audrey Swinney.

As they were driving away, the victim recognized Audrey Swinney, as she had previously worked in the store for him.  The Flora Police Department responded to the scene and immediately developed Audrey Swinney as a suspect.  She was arrested and taken into custody.  Based upon statements she gave to investigators, this led to the apprehension of the juvenile, who also confessed.  These confessions resulted in law enforcement arresting Tony Swinney.  Video surveillance was also obtained from the store, aided in the investigation.

At trial, the juvenile testified against Tony Swinney along with the victim, and the jury returned two verdicts of guilty against him after deliberating for 30 minutes.

Audrey Swinney pled guilty prior to trial and received a 15 year sentence.  The juvenile’s case was handled in Youth Court.
Law Enforcement determined that Tony Swinney had four previous felony convictions in Yazoo County.  Due to his criminal record, Tony Swinney was sentenced as a violent habitual offender, with life in prison being the only sentence allowed by law. 

Swinney had previously been convicted on three prior occasions of House Burglary in Yazoo County and also has a conviction from Yazoo County for attempted escape.  

Guest stated, “Swinney is a four time convicted felon who had recently been released on parole when he assaulted and robbed a 73 year old store clerk.  Swinney attacked a hard working senior member of our community who was only attempting to operate his business and support his family. I am proud of the Flora Police Department who did an outstanding job of solving this crime and arresting those involved in this case.”
Guest concluded, “I want to thank Deputy District Attorney Bryan Buckley for all his efforts in preparing this case and bringing it to trial within nine months of the crime.  This case is a great example of how the legal system can swiftly bring to justice those who commit violent crimes.  This conviction and sentence will work in continuing to keep Madison County a safe place to live, run a business and raise a family”           
            District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties.  For more information regarding the District Attorney’s office, please visit 


Name:                          Tony Deshaun Swinney
Address:                      257 Harrison Lane, Bentonia
Date of Birth:               6-12-1988


Anonymous said...

The lesson to be learned here is if you are a repeat offender do the crime in Hinds County.

Anonymous said...

Guest makes Shuler Smith look like a freakin' awful would that be to be terrible at your job, and your next door neighbor with the same job is kicking ass and taking names?

Anonymous said...


a 26 year old kid going to jail for life.

a 26 year old who is already a habitual felony robber.

probably grew up without anything, no family unit, horrible education

not that this absolves him from his personal responsibility.

but if you are poor, have no family unit to teach you morality, have no type of marketable education--what else is at the end of the road except for this?

Anonymous said...

Just remember--crimes are still committed and on the rise in other counties in the metro besides Hinds. It's not going to get better until the thug culture changes.

Anonymous said...

2:12- Isn't that discrimnating? Not all poor are habitual offenders and commit crimes. The smart ones pay somebody to do it for them and take a cut. They're much harder to convict.

Anonymous said...

Hinds has many of those 26 year olds. Difference is that Shuler Smith lets them walk.

Anonymous said...

LOL at the full-funding cultist's rush to conclude that Swinney probably had a "horrible education".

Anonymous said...

"but if you are poor, have no family unit to teach you morality, have no type of marketable education--what else is at the end of the road except for this?"

Well, forget that crap about being poor - see what Ben Carson did with his life - he had the second, who made sure he got the third. Only those two matter.

Old Math... said...

The perp was born in the month of June, 1988. Even one with a horrible education can figure out his correct age to be 27, not 26. In any event, he's right at twice the age of consent in the Parchman Shower.

Anonymous said...

2:12 here.

4:27, Not trying to be discriminating. I am trying to think about this prevalent problem systematically and determine primary causative factors.

So no, 4:49, I am not a "full-funding cultist"-- I am someone trying to think about how to stop this school-to-prison-pipeline in our State and figure out a way to make to make our human capital better. Maybe instead of sitting on the fence trying to label peoples' opinions as one thing or the other, you could offer your contribution and suggestion for solution.

8:07, Ben Carson's story is amazing--and I agree, his mother, illiterate, still pushed for him to read and achieve academically; and even still, there were a couple points in his life where he could have really gone the wrong way (according to his autobiography). I would say that he is the exception to the rule.

The key to us finding a solution is to figure out a systematic approach that helps not only the Ben Carsons of the world but the average to below average person find meaningful skills - we need these people in order to attract business to our state; and with these opportunities for people maybe we can stop this kind of hemorrhaging.

But that is ideological. There will always be people that do not want to work. I tend to believe this is not the majority though.

Anonymous said...

Do tell 2:12 how to curb the cycle of no family unit. Forced adoption by young married couples? Some sort of critical needs fatherhood program where the young man receives college tuition money in return for a 3-year head of household commitment? Don't take this as racial cause there's plenty of black and white children growing up in deplorable conditions, albeit govt funded conditions.

Anonymous said...

My experience has been with hundreds of criminals and the most common link is that they quit school around the 8th grade. Start there. Quit letting people quit school and that in itself will cure some of the crime statistics.

Anonymous said...

2:12 again.

12:28-- That's a start, and exactly the way we need to approach and think about this. Make data driven decisions to determine some basic prevailing factors that are commonly seen in criminal groups. Work on policy or private approaches to counteract these factors.

Another issue that would be way to exhausting to touch on is the prisons themselves. What should be their purpose in this? Can they contribute to the development of the individual?

It makes sense that someone with a base level education of "8th" (probably less given their school) grade, would think it a good idea to rob someone for a little bit of money even though the consequences can mean something like long term incarceration. For the rest of us, it literally does not compute.

So, 2:12, I don't know what the answer is, but these kind of conversations are the ones that need to be happening. I know that some programs in Jackson are incentivizing teenage girls (the sisters or relatives of someone with teen preganancy)to not be pregnant via tuition incentives for college. It sounds crazy to me, but it is working. Teaching them about their 15 year generational cycle and how it costs money and does not make sense. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there was an op-ed in LA times I believe that a poor, non pregnant girl wrote about how she was systematically penalized and did not have access to help because she was not pregnant. To the point where her friends just told her to get pregnant so she could get more help. This does not make sense either.

Look at what Colorado is doing with long term contraception for teenagers and how it is curbing the teen pregnancy rates. Right now we can't even teach our kids at school how to use a condom. I have my reservations and have a lot of thoughts on waiting until marriage. But is that reality for most people? Something has to give.

Anonymous said...

As long as pregnancy and/or dependents is the qualifier for assistance, as the LA Times op-ed author explained, the majority of incentives are in favor of the 15 year generational cycle. There's the problem.

Anonymous said...

Oops, and the system just keeps kicking this young man when he is down. Shouldn't someone post a change of address for this lad? How is he expected to receive his scholarship letters when his mail is going to an old address. This is just wrong, WRONG I say!

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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