Hearing scheduled for man accused of family's murder

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Daily American Republic

YAZOO CITY, Miss. -- An April preliminary hearing has been set for the prosecution to show why Earnest Lee Hargon should be charged with capital murder in the deaths of three relatives -- Michael Hargon, his wife, Rebecca, and the couple's 4-year-old son, James Patrick.

Rebecca Hargon was the daughter of Linda and Bill Hirtz of Poplar Bluff, Mo., and was born in Cape Girardeau.

She and her family were reported missing Feb. 14 from their Vaughan, Miss., home. They were found March 1, buried under debris from a burned shed.

Earnest Lee Hargon, 43, of Taylorsville, Miss., appeared Monday in Yazoo County Justice Court for a 20-minute motions hearing. Judge Pam May set Hargon's preliminary hearing for 11 a.m. April 19.

He is being held without bond in the Rankin County, Miss., jail.

Michael Hargon's mother, Diana Hargon, ill with colon cancer, said she plans to attend all of Earnest Lee Hargon's court appearances.

"I just want him to see me every time. ... I just want him to see my family," she said, pointing to a pin she wore. The pin, taken from a family portrait, featured the faces of the slain family.

Officials haven't offered a reason Michael Hargon and his family were killed, though relatives have said the crime might be because of a will. Earnest Lee Hargon's father, Charles Hargon, who died in January, willed his 50-acre Madison County farm to Michael Hargon instead of his son.

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