By Errol Castens, Oxford Citizen

Regis Mister, 27, a former Yalobusha County deputy sheriff and school resource officer, pled guilty on Tuesday to two counts of second-degree murder in the Nov. 8, 2013, killings of his mother and his little brother. <>

Carol Mister Gary, 43, a Water Valley school principal, and her younger son, Patrick Earl Gary Jr., 12, were shot to death in their home in usually quiet South Oaks, a middle-class subdivision that fronts on South Lamar Boulevard. Mister was believed at times to live with them in the home.

In addition to the unusual incidence of double homicide in a middle-class, professional family, the case was made stranger still by a letter Mister wrote “To Whom It May Concern” in February of this year.

In the letter, Mister asked to be released from the Lafayette County Detention Center, claiming

“Both of my grandparents have been ill lately, and they need me to be there for them.”

He also appealed for release from incarceration so he could continue his role as a church musician and accept his calling as a minister.

“I have been raised in a Christian family and I am a firm believer in God,” he wrote. “A lot of young people are straying away from the church and I believe that God has called me to be that helping hand to bring them back to God.”

In a bizarre attempt to bargain with the court, Mister offered in his letter to give up his law enforcement certification and “vow to not become a Law Enforcement Officer again,” to donate his short-barreled rifle (which requires a special federal license to possess) to a local agency’s SWAT team and to set up a scholarship for law enforcement officers’ children.

His request did not pretend to be completely selfless.

“I do not need a felony on my record due to jobs,” he noted. “I have several job offers that are available to me.”

Judge John Kelly Luther sentenced Mister to 40 years in prison, with 16 years suspended and 24 to serve, on each of the counts, The sentences will run consecutively, followed by five years of post-release supervision.

Mister had been scheduled for trial on Oct. 26 on charges of first-degree murder. Had he been found guilty of those charges, the law would have required life sentences, and even if the jury had found him guilty of second-degree murder, it could have imposed life sentences. Without a jury, the sentence could have been anywhere between 20 and 40 years on each count.

@oxfordcitizenec

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