Washington pleads guilty to manslaughter in cemetery killing

Published 12:04am Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NATCHEZ — Keldrick Washington will be joining in jail his co-defendant in the May 2011 Natchez City Cemetery shooting death of a Natchez teenager. Washington pleaded guilty to manslaughter late Monday afternoon.

Washington, 20, was set to go to trial Tuesday for the murder of 18-year-old Quinton Brown, but entered his plea Monday during the 4 p.m. hour. He had until 5 p.m. to do so.

Washington was sentenced by Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson to 15 years prison, though he will only be required to serve five of those years. The remainder of the sentence will be served on post-release probation, with five of those years supervised and five of them unsupervised.

Washington’s manslaughter plea is connected with the concept of “culpable negligence,” District Attorney Ronnie Harper said.

Culpable negligence is the idea that given knowledge of the situation, the defendant should have reasonably deduced that something bad would happen but continued to participate in it anyway.

Washington’s co-defendant, Adrian Williams, 22, was tried separately, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without chance of release until age 65 Nov. 15.

Harper said Tuesday he felt the plea and sentencing were a reasonable and just conclusion to the case based on what the prosecution believed to be Washington’s participation in the killing.

“It was never our understanding nor did we have any evidence that he was a shooter,” Harper said. “(Washington’s participation) was more in line with being an accessory. There were some concerns we had about being able to prove what knowledge he had that the defendant Williams was going to kill Brown.”

The prosecution believed that Washington knew Williams had a grudge against the victim, Harper said, and despite that knowledge Washington asked Brown to get in a vehicle with them to go to the cemetery, where the killing occurred.

“(Washington) obviously had some knowledge of the circumstances as far as being armed and that (Washington) had some problems with (Brown) and some intentions to ‘get him,’” Harper said. “We had some problems being able to prove what his knowledge of ‘get him’ was.”

A third man, Denzel Fort, pleaded guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact in March and later testified in Williams’ trial. Fort has not yet been sentenced.

Brown was found shot to death with multiple gunshot wounds, including to his back and head. In testimony that Fort gave at Williams’ trial, he stated that the four men had gone to the cemetery to test out pistols they had acquired. Fort testified that while he had taken a gun to the cemetery, he did not go in with the other men and that after he heard a series of gunshots Washington and then Williams exited the cemetery without Brown.

Fort testified that Williams said Brown was dead and threatened Fort and Washington that if they told anyone what had happened he would kill them.

Fort and Williams later went to the Natchez Police Department to give unsolicited statements about the events. Though Williams gave three statements to police, his final statement was that he was the only shooter in the killing.

Williams’ final statement alleged that Brown pulled a gun before Williams shot him.

Williams later told police where to find the weapons investigators believed were used in the killing in exchange for a cigarette.

Harper said the prosecution at all times believed Williams to be the actual killer of Brown.

  • Khakirat

    Why are all these crimnals getting such a nothing of a convection in Adams county isn’t right for murder of only 5 years??!! This makes me think where the mafia played a good part to take care of matters as such!!! Is there something wrong with the Ms. law not giving the strongest punishment to these convicts or what is it??!!

  • Anonymous

    Overcrowded prisons and the cost of maintaining them contribute to the change in laws/rules about good time, probation, etc. to decrease the amount of time to be served for any given offense. Coupled with the permissive society of today and the everyday desensitization of the public through movies and television shows projecting killings as an everyday fact of life, we reap what we sow. This is perpetuated by the court system slapping wrists to the max, aided by those who vote to re-elect judges such as LEL Sanders, plea bargaining DAs, and of course the juries who need DNA proof to convict a bank robber who was wounded in his escape leaving a trail of blood behind leading to his person, since no one actually saw the real bank robber shoot him before fleeing. Since the law was in hot pursuit, I wonder why no one heard the last shot and why the innocent shot guy was in the gully behind the apartment complex to start with? I suggest that Mayfield should require more range time for his deputies to assure the guy is shot good enough to disable him while he stays in their sight next time. After all, the bad guys are using our cemeteries for shooting practice!

  • Cuz64

    Damn that’ll teach him

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Stutzman/100000914851900 Joe Stutzman

    sad story from every angle

  • Anonymous

    Liberals an Democrats like you my friend are running the show. Complain to them since they are your peps.