Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — James C. Luster looks up as tears fall while his mother addresses the court during the sentencing phase after he was convicted of the murder of Carlos “Mo” Wright.

Luster found guilty of murder

Published 12:01am Thursday, January 31, 2013

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this story incorrectly identified the witness that testified Tuesday that he shot Carlos “Mo” Wright twice in buttocks. Gerald K. Davis, 19, 11 Fifth St., testified that he shot Wright twice in the buttocks the night Wright was murdered. We regret the error and are happy to set the record straight.

NATCHEZ — Moments after a jury told James C. Luster Wednesday he was guilty of murder, the victim’s mother demanded Luster’s attention.

Anna Wright wanted to know why her son, Carlos “Mo” Wright, had to die.

“I just want to tell you that I can’t believe you did this to my son,” she said shaking her head. “I’m in pain, pain, pain. He was my only son, and you knew him.”

Luster, 21, 551 W. Stiers Lane, was apparently a longtime friend of Wright’s son when he gunned down Carlos outside Carlos’ Scotts Lane residence on March 6, 2012.

“All I want to let (you) know is that this was something that didn’t have to happen,” Wright said to Luster, who cried as he sat behind the defendant’s table. “I just want to know one thing: Why? Why?”

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Carlos Wright’s mother Anna Wright, far left, and other members of the Wright family wait to hear Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders sentence their son’s killer to life in prison without parole.

Before Circuit Court Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders sentenced him to life in state prison, Luster turned and faced Wright and contended his innocence.

“I didn’t kill your son, and that’s the honest to God truth,” Luster said.

“And if Mo was in my situation, I know his momma would feel the same way, I know she would know that Mo didn’t kill me.”

Luster’s mother, Lorraine Anderson, addressed the court before her son’s sentencing and said she believed her son was innocent.

“No matter what happened today or what people think, I taught my children about God,” she said. “I love him no matter what happened today.”

“Keep your faith in God,” Anderson said to her son, her voice cracking with tears. “The Lord has brought me through a lot, and he is going to bring you through this.”

Two other men — Frederick Hunt Jr., 19, 381 Morgantown Road, and Gerald K. Davis, 19, 11 Fifth St. — charged in the crime testified Monday that Luster had committed the crime.

Davis pleaded guilty to manslaughter last week; Hunt said in court Monday that he was testifying in hopes of receiving a lesser charge. Assistant District Attorney David Hall pointed out Monday that no deal has been made between the state and Hunt for a lesser charge.

Luster’s lawyer, Kevin Colbert, maintained throughout the trial that Hunt and Davis were liars that were trying to blame the murder on Luster.

Colbert said during his closing statements that the state was not able to provide any other witnesses that could back up the story of Hunt and Davis.

Hunt and Davis testified Tuesday that they were playing dice on Fifth Street the night of the murder when Luster showed up and borrowed a .40 caliber gun from another individual. Hunt and Davis said they got in the car and left with Luster.

Colbert asked the jury Wednesday in closing statements why none of the other people who were on Fifth Street with Hunt and Davis came forward to support their story.

“Because it didn’t happen, that’s why,” he said.

District Attorney Ronnie Harper said during his closing statements that despite good police work, some people do not want to cooperate with investigations.

Luster’s friends Alexis Williams and Ethel Williams testified Tuesday that Luster and his cousin Casey Campbell were at Ethel’s house in Vidalia. Alexis said Luster asked to borrow her Chevrolet Malibu prior to going to Fifth Street.

Hunt and Davis both testified Tuesday that they saw Luster shoot Carlos multiple times after arguing with Carlos outside his house. Davis said Luster told him that Carlos had seen their faces and that Davis had to shoot Carlos. Davis said he shot Carlos twice in the buttocks because he feared Luster would kill him if he did not.

Davis said after shooting Wright, he threw his gun in a bayou on West Stiers Lane, and he and Hunt ran to Alabama Street, where both men said Luster saw them and picked them up.

West Stiers Lane resident David Ross testified that he saw two men running in his yard and alerted police.

NPD officer Elvis Prater testified that he was en route to Ross’ house when he was flagged down by a friend of Wright’s who said Wright had been shot.

The friend had apparently tried to put Wright in his car to take him to the hospital, but Wright was dead, Prater said.

Davis and Hunt, who were in a gang together, both said that Luster instructed them when he picked them up on Alabama Street not to tell anyone what happened or he would kill them.

Hunt and Davis testified that they did not know Wright.

Alexis said Luster returned to the house after midnight and told her and his cousin Casey Campbell that he had killed Wright.

Alexis said Luster asked her to write a statement saying he never left Ethel’s house the night of the murder, and Alexis said she did make such a statement because she was in fear for her life.

Harper questioned Tuesday why Luster felt the need to take two alibis with him to the police station the next day if he did not commit the crime.

“If you ain’t got something to hide, why do you do that?” Harper said.

Alexis later changed her story and said she told Natchez Detective Otis Mazique when he called her approximately two weeks later that Luster had told her he had killed Carlos.

Colbert said again Wednesday that Alexis was lying, and her testimony could not be supported.

Harper said that Alexis has no motive to point to Luster as Carlos’ killer, other than wanting to tell the truth.

The jury, which comprised seven black women, two white women, two black men and one white man, deliberated for two hours before returning a unanimous guilty verdict.

Correction: The above article published in the Jan. 31 edition of The Natchez Democrat misidentified the person who testified that he shot the victim, Carlos “Mo” Wright. Gerald Davis testified that he shot Wright in the buttocks two times. The story above reflects the correct information. We regret the error and are glad to set the record straight.

 

 

  • Karma is a muthafau

    Appeal the case no evidence no gun just word of mouth he she say she gtfo here you will come home bubba

  • Anonymous

    “Word of mouth” is witness testimony and hard evidence you criminal apologist piece of garbage. Why don’t you go back to grade school and learn to write a sentence, preferably somewhere like Zimbabwe. You and your murder-excusing ilk do not deserve to live in this country with decent people..

  • Anonymous

    So sorry for ALL involved. My sympathy goes out to the victim’s family. My heart is heavy for the convicted, for you have now been found guilty by a jury of your peers. You did NOT learn “Thou shalt not kill”. You are going to a terrible place for many years. So senseless and stupid.

  • Anonymous

    You and Dave need to write a book of poetry together…..

  • Anonymous

    GOOD MORNING NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT. THAT BIG-BEAUTIFUL-COLOR-PICTURE OF THAT BLACK MAN ON HIS WAY TO PRISON GOT MY ATTENTION, NOT THE PERSON, BUT THE PICTURE. I JUST NEVER SEEN ONE THAT SIZE IN THE HEAD LINES. HOW DO YOU FEEL N.D. SEENING THAT BLACK MAN ON HIS WAY TO PRISON, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY, I ALREADY KNOW. NOW; MR N.D.WHAT I’M GOING TO BE LOOKING FOR FROM NOW ON IS SOME MORE BIG-BEAUTIFUL-COLOR-PICTURES OF BLACKS MALES DOING POSITIVE THING IN THE N.D. DON’T DARE TELL ME THERE’S NOT ENOUGHT IN THE AREA BECAUSE IF YOU DO, YOU’LL BE LYING JUST LIKE burnleyc. LET ME ASK YOU SOMETHING N.D. SENSE LUSTER WAS FOUND GUILTY, DO YOU NOW BELIEVE IN THE JUSTIC SYSTEMS AND THE JUDGES JUST A LITTLE-BIT MORE ? LET ME ASK YOU ONE MORE THING N.D. *IF* LUSTER WERE FOUND *NOT-GUILTY* WOULD YOU STILL HAVE POSTED THAT BIG-BEAUTIFUL-COLOR-PICTURE OF HIM, OR YOU WOULDN’T HAVE WASTED ALL OF THAT INK ? burnleyc, NOW YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH AND EDUCATED ENOUGH TO KNOW IF SOMEONE WANT TO APPEAL A DECISON THAT’S UP TO THEM AND IT’S ALSO PART OF THE JUSTIC SYSTEM. IT SEE LIKE TO ME YOU ONLY PICK OUT THE PARTS OF THE JUSTIC SYSTEM THAT FIT YOU. THAT’S JUST NOT RIGHT burnleyc. I BET YOU IN NO WAY WOULD WANT YOUR KIDS TO DO THAT, I KNOW I WOULDN’T WANT MINES. N.D. I WANT TO SEE MORE BLACK MALE ROLL MODEL APPEAL IN THIS GREAT PAPER. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. WE READERS ARE DOING EVERYTHING WE CAN TO LOOK UP TO YOU. I KNOW THAT’S WHAT YOU STRIVE SO HARD TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH .

  • Karma is a muthafau

    Stfu you crackers dont get it we dont give two flyings f about what you say on this internet because you sure wouldnt say it to my face were the evidence besides word of mouth like I said bubba will come home lmmfao now act like you racist crackers ant catch that

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Its great that LETEM LOOSE LILLIE finally made a guilty conviction which is positive in Adams county courts for some long period of time that needs to send a message to the guilty criminals that things are changing in Adams county!! Those letters sent to Jackson must have did some good on these local judges giving these convicts a innocent plea!! So, it does pay to voice your opinion huh”??!!

  • Anonymous

    I think the word you were looking for is justice not justic. Also you might want to turn off your caps lock. Food for thought.

  • Anonymous

    I think the word you were looking for was justice, not justic. Also you might want to think about turning off your caps lock. Food for thought.

  • Anonymous

    LMAO!!!! dave”whoever-you-are”, I am so HONORED to be cited by you!!!!!! Made my day. LMAO!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I would love to know what you are talking about. I hardly think he is a role model.

  • Anonymous

    Karma and Dave: Ringling Brothers Circus called. They are missing two of their clowns. See y’all under the big-top!

  • Anonymous

    I am STILL LMAO at your post, dave(whoever-you-are). There is just NO WAY anyone could so mutilate the English language the way you do WITHOUT trying!! It’s funny how you get certain words wrong in one post, but get them right in others. Which supports my theory that you are NOT REAL, just a character done to incite people. I will just laugh. LMAO!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, I get it. You know this guy is guilty and you still come here to defend the murderer. You also have the gall to call others racist while spouting your own racial slurs. Here’s a little inside info for you. There is no racial slur you can make that will upset white people. Our self-worth is not dependent on what animals like you say about us. In fact, if the right people hate me (like sub-human murderers and their trashy defenders) I consider myself having done right.

    I would pity you but one should not pity the snake. He will still bite you because that’s what a snake does. You are everything that is wrong in the south and the urban areas of this country. You are all but feral, a beast without reason, remorse or rationality. Don’t get me started on your lack of intellect which is the driver of all this violence and such any way. You’re just a dumb animal.

  • Anonymous

    Great! Just great! Another animal I have to feed forever. Bring back public hangings and canings. This idiot unmercifully killed a friend of his. Hang him Saturday morning in public. The rest of the oxygen wasters in the “For the Record” column should be caned beforehand. All “stars” need an opening act. These country boys need to know this is not Hollis, Compton, or 8 mile. Thank you Judge Sanders for an efficiently run trial.

  • Anonymous

    “Word of mouth” is hearsay and is inadmissible in a court of law.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashton.martin.925 Ashton Martin

    CONSEQUENCES & REPERCUSSIONS life is full of them and you will be held accountable for your actions.My condolences goes out to the Wright family and sympathy goes out to Luster mom.

  • sowhat

    just a bunch of ignorant a** people on here..especially u jackwabbit…hang in public???u wish.. none of that will ever happen these days!

  • Karma is a muthafau

    Im gone leave you dog smelling racist crackers with this @jackwabbit you are not living in slavery days anymore you know as well as I know you try to hang a black man in natchez ms we will burn this mfer down get us pissed @ crackalakin and burnlyce descent white people hun lmao white people self worth hun I know white lawyers nurse and doctors om pills marjiuna ad crack half of you dog smelling mfers cant perform a task without pills lmao

  • Karma is a muthafau

    @ burnleyc is that where you come up with the name from burning that good marjiuna lmao @ crackalakin its so obvious you come up with that name smoking that crack rock lol

  • JayE

    OMG I’m aware that people are entitled to their own opinions but some of you people are freaking IDIOTS!!!! Instead of talking down on these young men just pray for them, now is the time when these young men and their families need it the most!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The only dumb one on here is karma. Do you even know what karma is? If so all of your hatred towards other people that are not the same color as you will come back on you 10 fold. So keep spreading your hatred & stupidity & you get what you sow. Enjoy! Plus, get a dictionary or do a spell check.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashton.martin.925 Ashton Martin

    whats the deal with all these fake screen names show your face

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashton.martin.925 Ashton Martin

    maaaaaaaaaan is this 2013 or 1913 I’m glad I had sense enough to get out of Natchez…….smh