Centobie to be executed

Published 7:45 am Monday, April 25, 2005

By Staff
Our View
For the past six years Mario Givanni Centobie has sat in a jail cell awaiting his fate for the murder of Moody Police Officer Keith Turner and the attempted murder of Tuscaloosa Police Officer Cecil Lancaster.
This Thursday, barring an unlikely governmental pardon, Centobie will be executed at Atmore's Holman Correctional Facility at 6 p.m..
It is hard to say what the families of the victims are thinking right now, but our hearts go out to them. Our hearts go out, too, to Centobie's family, and the jurors who voted 10-2 to execute Centobie for his crime.
For those that have either forgotten or not heard the story, Centobie was a firefighter in Mississippi. Somewhere along the line Centobie turned to crime. Centobie kidnapped and robbed Jones County, Miss. Sheriff Maurice Brooks. After being convicted of this crime he escaped from police custody. While on the run from authorities Centobie encountered Officer Turner and killed him to avoid arrest.
Each year since Turner was killed the City of Moody has honored him with a fireworks display, each year there are tears for the death of one of the town's finest officers. And each year the explosion of fireworks serves as a painful, yet beautiful, reminder of the life of an officer whose light flashed brilliantly and terminated far too quickly.
The first thing that can be seen when entering the Moody Police Department is a portrait of Turner with a little brass plaque beneath it. It's dusted carefully by the cleaning staff.
No portrait of Centobie will ever hang in a place of honor, lovingly tended. His face will be the memory of a police mugshot and his plaque the engraved marble of his tomb.
Then Police Chief Bobby Clements was part of the manhunt for Centobie. It was his officer who had been killed. It was that officer whose funeral he attended less than a week later.
Who will mourn for Centobie?
Perhaps death penalty protectors will mourn briefly before finding a new martyr.
Perhaps Centobie's family or those public servants that served with him in the days when he was a firefighter – those that have not already abandoned him as lost at least – will mourn his passing.
Certainly the police officers of Moody will not be in that group, nor will those in Tuscaloosa, nor any in this state or its surrounding neighbors.
While the staff of the Advance has different opinions on the death penalty none of us will lament his passing.

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