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Bonner sentenced to 46 years, chance for parole

Former Ole Miss student Christian Bonner will be spending a long time in prison.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Elliot sentenced Christian Bonner to 46 years in total: there were nine counts of credit card fraud, each worth five years with one year of each suspended and a 15-year sentence with five suspended.

Eventually he will be eligible for parole.

More information is needed to prosecute Bonner for the murder of University of Mississippi track star Rodney Lockhart in 2007, District Attorney Ben Creekmore said Thursday.

This statement came just one day after Bonner faced a judge for using Lockhart’s debit card and for possessing a cell phone while incarcerated at the Lafayette County Detention Center (LCDC).

Although he was indicted for the murder of Lockhart in December 2007, Bonner has yet to face those charges in court. He has been held at the LCDC since his arrest in October 2007 for shooting Lockhart during a robbery.

“The state’s position is that yes, Christian Bonner is appropriately charged in the murder of Rodney Lockhart,” Creekmore said over the phone Thursday from his office in New Albany.

However, Creekmore explained, during the course of the investigation it was shown that it was just as likely there was someone else involved as it is that Bonner acted alone.

“I don’t think anyone involved wants to move against Christian Bonner until we can answer this question,” he said.

This hampers the proceedings against Bonner.

“We are at the mercy of whoever has this information,” Creekmore said.

“Hopefully someone will come forward.”

“If we were to get a conviction on the murder charge right now it would be bittersweet,” Creekmore told the Oxford Eagle. “Among all the agencies in this investigation, it’s agreed it’s very likely there is someone else. If he was convicted that question would never be answered. If he was acquitted, and the state later found evidence of that, the state would be precluded in prosecuting him.”

Lockhart was a junior psychology major from Vaiden attending the University of Mississippi. He went to the 2006 Junior Championships in Beijing, where he won a Gold Medal as a member of the U.S. 1,600-meter relay team.

Lockhart was also a star Ole Miss track athlete. He was found shot to death in his apartment Sept. 29, 2007.