- Associated Press - Friday, October 3, 2014

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) - A former law enforcement officer has again been denied bond on multiple charges in Lamar County that included fondling and sexual battery.

Averal Burnett had asked for reconsideration on his bond.

The Hattiesburg American reports (https://hatne.ws/1nT9xbB ) Circuit Judge Tony Mozingo denied the request Thursday during a hearing at Pearl River County Courthouse.

Mozingo ordered Burnett returned to custody at Pearl River County Jail, where he has been held without bond on two attempted capital murder charges.

Mozingo set trial for Dec. 15 on the Pearl River charges.

Burnett, 47, was indicted in Lamar County on four counts of fondling, two counts of sexual battery and a count of attempted sexual battery on a female under the age of 18. Burnett has pleaded not guilty.

The indictment said the acts occurred in April and May.

Burnett, who had spent the bulk of his 22 years in law enforcement with the Hattiesburg Police Department, retired from the Lamar County Sheriff’s Department after less than a year’s service in May.

He was arrested later in May and jailed in Pearl River County.

Prosecutors say while incarcerated, Burnett was charged in July with two counts of attempted capital murder relating to an alleged murder-for-hire scheme.

The indictment alleges Burnett gave money to a former inmate at Pearl River County Jail to kill two people tied to the Lamar County case.

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Information from: The Hattiesburg American, https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com

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