By RICK HAYES email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON — Mt. Vernon attorney Meagan Carnine has been appointed to represent murder suspect Marventi D. Palmer.
Palmer, 27, is currently incarcerated on drug-related charges in the Department of Corrections at Vienna, serving a 20-year sentence on the 2012 drug conviction in Jefferson County.
On Jan. 21, Palmer was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the Aug. 8, 2010, shooting death of Mt. Vernon teen Deon Feggins. Feggins was 15 when he was gunned down in the 1800 block of Conger Avenue.
Several members of the Feggins family were in attendance at Palmer's hearing on Wednesday, when he was advised of the charges by Circuit Judge Eric Dirnbeck.
Palmer told the judge he understood the charges lodged against him and he requested a court-appointed attorney.
Public Defender Sean Featherstun and Assistant Public Defender Todd Ringel both had conflicts of interest in the case and were disqualified from representing Palmer, resulting in the appointment of Carnine.
Dirnbeck also outlined possible sentencing ranges if Palmer is convicted on the charges. Palmer faces a sentencing range of 20 to 60 years on each count of murder and/or 60 to 100 years based on past criminal history. Dirnbeck also said if Palmer is found to have personally discharged a firearm that caused the death to Feggins, the sentence would start at 45 years up to natural life.
The case went cold for 3 ½ years before charges were brought against Palmer.
When the charges were filed in January, State's Attorney Doug Hoffman said, “We've reached a point now where there is enough evidence I believe to have it charged and proceed through the justice system.”
Palmer was indicted by a Jefferson County Grand Jury on Jan. 20.
Then Chief of Police Chris Mendenall, who recently resigned, praised the work of MVPD detectives who gathered the evidence needed for Hoffman to file charges. Four detectives, who were not originally assigned to the case, helped solve the homicide, Mendenall said.
It was the city's only unsolved homicide during Mendenall's reign as police chief.
Palmer will be back in court at 9:30 a.m. April 22 for arraignment, where he will enter a plea to the alleged charges.