Storey gets 40 years, banishment for assault, kidnapping

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

BOONEVILLE - Richard Robbie Storey was sentenced to a total of 40 years in prison, with 20 years suspended, in connection with the September 1994 aggravated assault of a Prentiss County man and the October 1994 kidnapping of a Booneville woman.

Storey, who was set for trial in Lee County last week, was indicted as a habitual offender for the kidnapping, aggravated assault and robbery of Nellie Bernice Beasley. He agreed to plead guilty to kidnapping as a nonhabitual offender in order to be eligible for eventual parole or probation. The aggravated assault and robbery charges were retired.

As part of the plea bargain, Storey, 33, also pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault of Timothy Vuncannon, who was cut across the face with a knife. For this, Storey was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

He was sentenced to 20 years, suspended, in the kidnapping case. The terms are to run consecutively.

In addition, when he completes his time in prison, Storey will be forever banished from north Mississippi, Assistant District Attorney Jim Pounds said.

"In the event that some day he does come back to this area after serving his time, then he will have 20 more years to do," Pounds said.

Both victims agreed to the recommended sentences, Pounds said.

"What it amounts to is a 40-year sentence with 20 suspended and hanging over his head if he messes up," said District Attorney John Young. "We feel like we got a pretty good sentence out of it."

If Storey violates the conditions of his parole, he would have to finish out the 20-year aggravated assault term and then complete 20 years more on the kidnapping sentence.

Pounds said the state was pleased with the way the case turned out in light of the circumstances and because the change-of-venue trial would have cost Prentiss County a lot of money.

Cases against two other defendants in the case are still pending. Also charged were Greg Bowen and Cindy Pharr Smith, both of Booneville.

Storey pleaded guilty to kidnapping the 33-year-old Beasley in October 1994. According to witness's statements, the woman had allegedly stolen some of Storey's jewelry. Storey allegedly found the jewelry in the woman's purse and confronted her. The two got into a fight that got out of hand, the witnesses said.

Storey was accused of putting the woman in the trunk of a car before fleeing the county. Bowen released Beasley from the trunk and the woman, who suffered a broken leg, drove herself to the Prentiss County Sheriff's Office, where she crashed into the side of the building.

Bowen was arrested at his residence on the night of the attack. Storey and Smith were taken into custody about six months later, he in Phoenix and she at a relative's house in Booneville.

Storey, who was listed as one of Mississippi's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives, was arrested by Phoenix police during a traffic stop. Although he was using an alias, the lawmen recognized him from a most wanted poster.

Storey was tried and acquitted in the mid-1980s for the murder of an elderly Alcorn County man.

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