Rankin County Man Convicted of Gratification of Lust after Failing to Appear for Trial

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Marcus Ethan Garrett was convicted by a jury of gratification of lust involving a twelve year old child. Garrett failed to appear for his trial and was tried in his absence. Garrett is currently set to be sentenced on Monday in front of Judge Ratcliff, but sentencing may be continued if Garrett has not been arrested and returned to custody. Any sentence imposed will be served in its entirety without the possibility of probation, parole, or early release and upon release from custody Garrett must register as sexual offender.

On December 27, 2014, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by a family member who reported that the victim, a twelve year old child, had on previous occasions been left alone in the care of Garrett and that during that time Garrett had masturbated in front of the child. Law enforcement then made arraignments for a forensic interview of the child to be conducted by the Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC).

During the forensic interview conducted by the CAC, the child disclosed that Garrett had inappropriately touched her and had masturbated in her presence. It was also determined that the events occurred at a residence located on Bradford Drive in Rankin County.  A warrant was issued for Garrett’s arrest.

On May 7, 2015, law enforcement officers arrested Garrett and transported him to the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department to question him about the allegations. Garrett was advised of his rights and agreed to speak to detectives. Garrett told investigators that he had committed the acts alleged by the victim.

Garrett, who had previously posted bond, failed to appear for his trial and left notes with both his mother and employer that he could not go to jail and was leaving town in an attempt to avoid conviction. The trial Judge determined that Garrett had voluntarily fled in an attempt to postpone his trial. The Court issued a warrant for his arrest but allowed the State to go forward with the prosecution in his absence. Following a two day trial the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

Guest stated, “Garrett is a sick and cowardly individual who inappropriately touched and masturbated in front of a minor child. The testimony of the victim and law enforcement allowed us to secure a verdict of guilty in this matter.   It took great courage for this child to tell of the abuse she suffered. Her courage has resulted in someone who would prey upon our children being held responsible for his crimes.”

Guest concluded, “Garrett is now a convicted sex offender who has fled in an attempt to avoid going to jail for his crime. We need your help in locating Garrett to assuring that he will not escape the consequences of his acts. If you have information as to his location or the whereabouts of Garrett please contact the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department at 601-825-1480 or Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS.”

District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties. For more information regarding the District Attorney’s office, please visit www.daguest.com.

Defendant:

Name:                          Marcus Ethan Garrett

Address:                      571 Bradford Drive, Brandon

DOB:                          August 3, 1976

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