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Murder trial for second defendant in cemetery killing starts today

NATCHEZ — The trial of the second man charged in the shooting death of a teenager in the Natchez City Cemetery in May 2011 starts today.

Keldrick Washington, 20, is charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 17-year-old Quinton Brown.

A passerby found Brown dead in the cemetery on May 29, 2011. He had been shot five times, including in the back and the head.

Adrian Williams, 22, was sentenced to life without eligibility for release until he is 65 two weeks ago.

Denzel Fort, who pleaded guilty in March to accessory after the fact in connection with the killing, testified during Williams’ trial that he, Williams and Washington picked up Brown, who they found standing on Beaumont Street at approximately 3 a.m. the morning of the crime. According to Fort, the three men asked Brown if he wanted to come with them to test out pistols.

Fort testified that Williams decided to go to the cemetery, and he said all of the men had guns.

When they arrived at the cemetery, Washington, Brown and Williams all walked down to the cemetery. Fort testified he stayed in the vehicle because he was on the phone with his girlfriend, and he did not want her to know where he was or what the group was doing.

A short while later, Fort testified he heard a shot followed by several more shots. Fort said he then saw Washington running back to the van, got in and then he saw Williams coming back to the van. Fort said when he saw Williams, he asked Washington where Brown was, and Washington said he was dead.

Fort testified that when Williams got back in the vehicle, he threatened the other two men.

Fort testified that the men then drove to Williams’ mother’s house. Fort said after returning home, he could not sleep. He checked the clip on his gun, found bullets missing and took the remaining bullets out of the weapon before hiding them and the gun in an abandoned structure near his grandmother’s residence.

Later, when he found out the police were looking for them, Fort and Williams went to the police station, where they were questioned. Fort admitted in court he did not tell investigators the truth at first, though later he did tell them what he told the court.

Fort told the court he did not actually see what happened in the cemetery nor did he have any idea who shot which gun.