Anyway. The crud I had in my head last week seems to have moved south and taken up residence in my chest. Which is fine. I'd rather be coughing than wanting to gouge my sinuses out with a fork.
Went to Mississippi this weekend and saw my grandmother and my uncle's family, who were up from south Georgia. We lounged around, watched football, and ate fried chicken like good suthuhnahs. Good times.
I did get some really bad news, though. My old friend Lonzie Nichols, the namesake of my beloved man-pussy, got life in prison the other day. And it looks like he deserved every flippin' bit of it. :( I'd known for a while that he'd been charged with murder in connection with a car wreck, but I hadn't known the details, and here they are:
Man gets life term in death of mother, unborn baby
WEST POINT - His defense had hoped for a reduced charge of manslaughter. But Lonzie Nichols was sentenced to life in prison Thursday morning. Jurors in Clay County Circuit Court found Nichols guilty of murder for his role in the 2004 deaths of Kiki Johnson and her unborn child.
Nichols, 36, of 903 Highway 25, Apt. 13, in Starkville, was sentenced to life in the Mississippi State Penitentiary by Judge Lee Howard under the state's depraved heart murder law. He was found guilty of intentionally plowing his vehicle into the car Johnson was riding in, causing the deaths.
Depraved heart murder pertains to instances of “callous disregard for human life” resulting in death. This classification of murder is characterized by acts not premeditated or intended to kill another person, but the state can still hold people responsible for the death of another when their intentional acts result in the death.
According to court documents, Nichols was charged with killing Johnson “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously, in the commission of an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved heart, regardless of human life.”
On July 27, 2004, Nichols was driving a red 1998 Pontiac and crashed into a 1992 Buick Regal driven by Sunikita Jones around 3 a.m., four miles south of West Point on Highway 45 Alternate.
Sunikita Jones is now Sunikita Nichols, the newly convicted murderer's wife. The two were married shortly after Nichols' indictment. Incidentally, a wife cannot be called to give damaging testimony against her husband.
At the time of the 2004 collision, the on-again-off-again couple, who share five children, was undergoing a combative phase. Trial testimony revealed the couple was broken up when the wreck occurred. Court documents further reveal Nichols had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence several years earlier.
According to testimony, Jones was driving Johnson and another female back to Starkville around 3 a.m. after visiting friends in Crawford when they noticed flashing headlights approaching their vehicle from behind.
The driver behind them was Nichols. He waved them to the roadside for a heated discussion with Jones. Nichols said he needed to talk to her. Jones said they could talk when he was less upset.
Eventually, Nichols seemed to begrudgingly agree and drove down the road ahead of the women.
Still concerned, the three women decided to dial 911 and headed to the West Point Police Department.
On the way there, in the northbound lane of Highway 45 Alternate, the women saw bright lights approaching them from behind at high speed. The encroaching driver, identified as Nichols, plowed into the Buick's rear bumper at more than 75 miles per hour, causing both vehicles to skid and crash violently into the roadway median.
As the cars flipped and rolled multiple times before impact, the pregnant Johnson was ejected from her passenger's seat in the Buick, killing her and her unborn child instantly.
The prosecution's most damning evidence against Nichols was physical. State's Exhibit No. 12 in the case was the dented and scratched front bumper of Nichols' destroyed red Pontiac.
Impact marks on the Pontiac's front bumper corresponded precisely with impact marks on the back end of the Buick and seemed to suggest the necessary speed which would have been involved in an intentional collision.
After three years, Nichols has been convicted for destroying the family hopes of Kiki Johnson. His own five children have been taken away from him as he prepares to spend the rest of his life in prison at Parchman.
Yet the bumper of Nichols' long-gone Pontiac remains intact, sitting, at least temporarily, in the file room of the Clay County Circuit Court, its scratches, dents and errant smudges of tire tread a reminder of the dark early morning of July 27, 2004, and its aftermath.
Is that insane or what? The whole thing's chilling.