DNA Evidence Gets Brookhaven Man 50 Years in 2004 Killing

BROOKHAVEN, Miss.–The wrong man was arrested ten years ago, but now the killing of John Henry Deere, Jr., is being paid for, thanks to DNA evidence taken from the scene of the crime in 2004.

Aaron Daniel Lyons, 34, formerly of Brookhaven, was in a Texas prison when DNA evidence was run through a national database and he turned out to be a match in 2013. He was indicted in September of last year and Monday Lyons was sentenced to 50 years in prison in Mississippi for the hold-up of the Airport Pic-n-Pac in Brookhaven, and the killing of Deere during that hold-up on Jan. 16, 2004.

Atty. Gen. Jim Hood said Lyons got 20 years for manslaughter and 35 years for armed robbery, with five of those suspended. He’ll also be on five years probation when he gets out, possibly at age 84.

Lyons also has to pay a $5,000 fine, restitution and has to pay funeral expenses for the Deere family.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims family,” said Hood.  “We greatly appreciate the work of the Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing, and 14th Judicial District Attorney, Dewitt “Dee” Bates, Jr.”  The case was prosecuted by Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.