Judge denies bond for man accused of raping, shooting child

OXFORD, MS- Michael Pruitt arrived Thursday morning at the courthouse in Oxford in a Marshall County SWAT Team truck, under very heavy security.  Shackled, and wearing a bullet-proof vest, he was escorted into the courtroom by law enforcement officers.  After receiving death threats against Pruitt, Marshall County Sheriff Kenny Dickerson was taking no chances.

"I've never seen the county in such a state since I've been in law enforcement, some 35 years," Dickerson said. "We had a call to the jail that concerned me greatly about the safety of this individual."

In the courtroom, Jim Dolan, attorney for Pruitt, asked the judge not to grant bond, out of fears for his safety.  Dolan also asked the judge to order a mental evaluation.

"I asked for that so we could determine with some accuracy, and on the basis of a professional medical opinion, and not the opinion of lawyers or law enforcement officers, what the state of mind my client was in at the end of last week, and what his mind is now," Dolan said.

Pruitt is accused of kidnapping a 6 year-old girl, raping and shooting her, and then leaving her in a field late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

Protection over Pruitt was equally fierce as officers escorted him out of the courthouse after the hearing.  Pruitt will remain behind bars until his attorney requests another bond hearing.

The young girl's family was also in the courtroom, but did not make any comments to the media.