Ricky McNeer, 55, of Holcomb pleaded guilty to manslaughter last Tuesday in the 2017 death of Robert Little. A jury initially convicted McNeer of second-degree murder back in 2019, and sentenced him to 40 years behind bars for killing his best friend.
McNeer later filed a motion in 2019 for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, which the Circuit Court denied. McNeer appealed that ruling and it was found that the Circuit Court erred in refusing McNeer’s proposed jury instructions regarding Mississippi Code Annotated section 97-3-15 (4) (Rev. 2014). Therefore, the Circuit Court of Appeals reversed McNeer’s conviction and remanded him for a new trial.
Little’s death occurred at McNeer’s Holcomb home off Highway 7 near the Grenada-Carroll county lines. McNeer was later indicted by a Grenada County Grand Jury on first-degree murder charges.
“It was not a dispute that killed Robert Little,” District Attorney Doug Evans said at the time of McNeer’s arrest. “He (McNeer) was claiming self-defense, but he shot and killed him while he sat in a chair.”
The minimum sentence for second-degree murder is 20 years.
That trial was scheduled for Jan. 12, in Grenada. It never took place as McNeer pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced by Judge Joey Loper to 20 years with 11 of those suspended. He was sentenced to serve nine years, however, the Mississippi Department of Corrections will determine how much time he will serve, according to Adam Hopper from the Grenada County District Attorney’s Office.
Upon release, he is scheduled to serve five years of probation.