Harrison County

UPDATE: Necaise said Roberts never showed up for meeting (10:45 a.m.)

Capital murder suspect John Paul Necaise told Biiloxi Police that Frank Roberts never made it to his home the day Roberts was abducted and held for ransom, according to a video-taped interview played in court this morning.

"He called me at 10:28 a.m. and said 'I'm on my way.' He said he had to drop somebody off first. He never showed up," Necaise said in the taped interview.

Biloxi Police Lt. Bobby Darden told Necaise they had proof Roberts had called him four times that morning. Necaise replied that he only received one phone call.

Circuit Judge John Garguilo denied a request this morning to continue the trial after Necaise complained of chest pains at the Harrison County jail.

Public defender Glenn Rishel told the judge Necaise had been taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport twice in the past two weeks for chest pains. The judge said a nurse's statement from the jail this morning indicated Necaise does not need medical treatment at this time.

Earlier this morning, Necaise decided to use a public defender to present his defense in the capital murder trial. Necaise was representing himself but changed his mind late Tuesday afternoon.

Judge John Gargiulo has advised the sequestered jury to avoid reading news accounts about the trial or investigating the case on their own.

Necaise, of Gulfport, wore khaki pants and a dark-striped shirt Tuesday as he gave an opening statement and questioned several witnesses.

He was brought to Harrison County for trial from a federal prison, where he's serving time for conviction of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. The firearms crossed state lines, making the possession a federal offense.

Records show police and federal agents had searched Necaise's home and found two firearms in a gun cabinet at the foot of his bed and a handgun and a pair of handcuffs in a box in his van. He was arrested and held with no bond just before Roberts' body was found.

Necaise has been convicted on 21 criminal counts in Harrison County Circuit Court since 1985. The crimes include forgery, burglary, receiving stolen property and escape.

Leading the prosecution are Assistant District Attorneys Joel Smith and George Huffman.

Public defenders Glenn Rishel, Theressia Lyons and Dawn Stough led Necaise's defense during the jury selection process, which started Monday.

Read more about this trial today at sunherald.com and in Thursday's Sun Herald.