Arrest made in 2011 murder outside Natchez Mall
NATCHEZ — The alleged shooter in the August 2011 murder of Walter Washington outside the Natchez Mall was arrested over the weekend in Michigan.
Natchez Detective Jerry Ford said the police department is in the process of getting Lee Raymond Smith Jr., 18, of Beaumont, Texas, extradited so Smith can be formally charged.
Former police chief Mike Mullins, who was chief at the time of the murder, has said the evidence in the case points to Smith as the shooter.
Murder charges against Datarrius T. Matthews, 18, 14 Woodside Court, and Latravis K. Clay, 21, 104 Dumas Drive Apt. A, were reduced to accessory after the fact to murder in November 2011.
Matthews, Clay and 22-year-old Brandon Christopher Collins were all originally arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shooting. The charges were reduced to accessory after the fact to murder for Collins as well.
Mullins has said evidence shows that Matthews and Clay were in the vehicle with Smith when he reportedly shot Washington, who sat in a separate vehicle in the mall parking lot.
Natchez Police Department Investigator Lt. Craig Godbold has said police believe Washington’s murder was intended as retaliation for the February shooting at Club Paradise of Calvin Matthews, for which Washington was charged.
Collins’ address is listed as 104 Dumas Drive, which was the same residence that was reportedly the target of a drive-by shooting that occurred on the morning of Aug. 28, a few hours after the murder.