Manslaughter case being bound over to grand jury

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 9, 2009

VIDALIA — The man accused in a fatal April 2008 stabbing will be bound over to the grand jury.

Ricardo K. Dukes, 30, of 6 Ray St., Natchez, was in court Wednesday for a status hearing before the Seventh Judicial District Court.

He is charged with manslaughter in connection with the April 2, 2008, stabbing death of 50-year-old Frank Holmes, of Vidalia.

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A new grand jury has just been empanelled, and Dukes’ case is one of several matters that will be taken before it, First Assistant District Attorney Ann Siddall said.

“We don’t have a specific date yet, but his case is definitely going to be taken before the grand jury,” she said.

When a case is bound over to a grand jury, the jury examines the evidence and decides whether or not to indict a person based on it.

If the grand jury hands down an indictment against a suspect, it is not an indicator of guilt, but rather that the jury believes there is enough evidence to take the person to trial for a crime.

The incident in which Dukes is charged happened at 103A John Dale Drive.

When police arrived that night, they discovered Holmes on the bathroom floor, unconscious and without a pulse.

He had been stabbed twice, and had sustained cut wounds to his hands and wrist.

Witnesses on the scene initially identified dukes as the suspect, police said at the time of the incident.

Following his arrest, Dukes reportedly said the stabbing was the result of an argument that eventually became a knife fight, police said at the time.

The two men had reportedly been drinking, and police said they discovered marijuana at the residence.