Murder suspect back in jail

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 22, 2000

A Natchez man accused of murdering his father Sept. 20 prior to a night-long standoff with police is back in the Adams County Jail, but only temporarily, according to Sheriff Tommy Ferrell.

Ferrell said he received a letter from officials at Whitfield State Hospital saying the hospital will have to do follow-up evaluations of 44-year-old Mark S. Allen of 106 Seargent S. Prentiss Drive. The letter did not say when Allen is scheduled to return to the hospital.

Prior to being transported to Whitfield in early March, Allen had been on the hospital’s waiting list for several months and had to wait for officials to gather his past medical records to assist in the evaluation. Allen has a history of depression. Allen was being evaluated at the jail to determine whether is competent to stand trial and whether he was insane at the time of the alleged crime, said District Attorney Ronnie Harper.

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Allen was brought back to the jail at noon Friday and was rebooked on a charge of murder.

&uot;They kept him long enough to do the initial evaluation, … but they’ve still got more to do,&uot; Ferrell said. &uot;But he has been stabilized enough through (medication) and treatment to be put back in jail.&uot;

Allen is being housed with other prisoners just like any other inmate, Ferrell added.

Police believe that Allen shot his father, 74-year-old James P. Allen Sr., twice in the head and cut his throat after he returned to his 106 Seargent S. Prentiss Drive home to check on his son.

The day of the murder, Mark Allen’s father had reported him missing to the Adams County Sheriff’s Department. Mark Allen had been missing for several days.

After nearly a nine-hour standoff, officials used pepper spray to coax Mark Allen out of his father’s house. They later found James Allen’s body underneath a pile of cloth items on the basement-floor.

Mark Allen pleaded not guilty to the murder charge last December before Circuit Court Judge Forrest &uot;Al&uot; Johnson.

Harper, who had not yet heard Friday afternoon that Mark Allen was back at the jail, said the next time Allen could be tried would be in June. A trial date has not yet been set.