Crime

Prominent Ocean Springs lawyer is in critical condition after assault, sheriff says

Singing River Health Services members have another day in court

SRHS retirees attend fairness hearing at federal court in Gulfport.
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SRHS retirees attend fairness hearing at federal court in Gulfport.

Ocean Springs attorney Earl Denham has been critically injured in an assault being investigated by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Mike Ezell said.

Denham reported the assault at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Denham and his girlfriend were on the patio of her home at Bridgewater Apartments when the girl’s ex showed up, the incident report said. The man was angry because of Denham’s relationship with the woman.

At some point, the man allegedly leaned over a railing on the patio and struck Denham in the face, the report said.

The woman told her ex she was calling authorities and he left in his pickup truck.

Denham told deputies he didn’t need to go the doctor.

But later, friends say, he started experiencing severe headaches and ended up hospitalized in critical condition.

Investigators told the woman to go Justice Court to get a restraining order against her ex.

The investigation in continuing.

Denham, 71, has practiced law in Ocean Springs for decades, often defending clients injured by corporations. He represented hundreds of Coast residents against insurance companies after Hurricane Katrina.

More recently, he and Pascagoula attorney Harvey Barton have been fighting for more than 200 retirees of Singing River Health System over their failed pension plan. While other attorneys wanted to settle with the hospital, Denham and Barton have filed court actions aimed at determining why the pension failed.

The Southern Trial Lawyers Association recognized Denham in 2015 with its annual War Horse Award for courtroom advocacy and his contributions to the justice system.

To report information, call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department at 228-769-3063 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898. Tips also can be submitted anonymously online to Crime Stoppers.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, margar45

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