Book pleads guilty to murders

Published 12:07 am Thursday, November 1, 2007

NATCHEZ — Kevin Book pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of murder.

Book, 32, 2811 Itasca Drive, was accused of shooting and killing James Michael McMillan, 31, and Roy D. Rushing, 49, in front of In the Mix nightclub on Homochitto Street in August 2006.

A psychiatric evaluation cleared Book to stand trial this August.

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Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson asked book if he understood what he was pleading.

“You took a gun and shot and killed these two individuals?” Johnson said.

Book answered yes.

Johnson accepted Book’s plea and then heard from the victims’ relatives.

Tracie Hughes, McMillan’s sister, read haltingly from a prepared statement.

“He left behind a 2-year-old daughter he would never know,” Hughes said. “He will never hear her call him daddy.”

Her brother’s absence would haunt the family for years, she said.

“I’d like to see Kevin Book pay for not only breaking not only man’s law but God’s law,” she said.

Steven Rushing, Roy Rushing’s cousin, also spoke.

“Roy was a loving, caring man,” he said through tears.

He then addressed Book directly.

“God’s going to tend to you, Kevin Book,” he said, pointing.

Johnson asked Rushing to address the court, not the defendant. He then asked Book if he had anything to say.

Book turned to the audience without facial expression.

“I’d like to apologize to the families,” Book said.

Then, with prompting from his attorney, he apologized to his family, too.

Johnson sentenced Book to what he said was the only sentence afforded him by law — a life sentence for each count. The two life sentences are to be served at the same time. Book won’t be eligible for parole until he is 65 years old.

“Mr. Book, this is a sad situation,” Johnson said. “What you did was a terrible act. You have done one good thing with your life. You came up here to save the family further heartache.

“I wish I could look into your mind. I hope you’re sincere about your apology to the families.”

As Book was lead out of the courtroom, still in handcuffs, a member of his family called out to him.

“We love you, Kevin,” she said.

“I love y’all,” he replied.