Deputies: Man murdered with tree limb

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 20, 1999

One savage swing of a pecan branch killed a 21-year-old Natchez man this weekend sheriff deputies say.

Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested William Christopher Bradley Monday in the beating death of a Natchez man over the weekend.

Bradley, 25, of 12 Oak Lane in Natchez, surrendered to Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies at 3:07 p.m., charged with the murder of Demetric Donnell Long, 21, of 414-B Watts Ave., in Natchez.

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&uot;It seems there was an altercation between Bradley and Long,&uot; Sheriff Tommy Ferrell said. &uot;Allegedly the altercation had been an ongoing one.&uot;

The crime appeared to be one of opportunity. Ferrell described the assault as &uot;spontaneous.&uot; Witnesses said Bradley drove up to the area where Long was sitting with friends on Margaret Lane on Saturday afternoon.

&uot;It was a gathering place – just some chairs in a vacant lot near a wooded area,&uot; Ferrell said.

Allegedly Bradley saw him, picked up a pecan limb and struck Long once in the head, Ferrell said adding that witnesses said Bradley said nothing before, during or after the attack.

&uot;We know he hit him once with severe force, and then (Bradley) was subdued by witnesses and then he ran off,&uot; Ferrell said.

&uot;We have a stick which we believe to be the alleged murder weapon,&uot; Ferrell said, adding that the limb in police custody is stained with blood.

Bradley was being held without bond late Monday. He is expected to be arraigned today.

Long died early Sunday morning from injuries sustained during the assault.

Long was first brought to Natchez Regional&160;Medical Center late Saturday afternoon around 5 p.m. Deputies received a call from NRMC reporting they had received an assault victim. Deputies arrived at the hospital and found Long bleeding profusely from the head. They briefly interviewed Long but he was not cooperative and &uot;refused to name anyone&uot; involved Ferrell said.

Later Saturday, Long drifted into a coma and was transferred to University Medical Center in Jackson. He was pronounced dead at 1:20 a.m. Sunday at University Medical Center.

Ferrell said both Long and Bradley had prior criminal records on a variety of charges. Ferrell wouldn’t say whether their criminal history played a part in the murder.

An autopsy is to be performed, Ferrell said, but added the initial cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

&uot;Obviously this blow was with such force that it caused this much trauma,&uot; Ferrell said.

Ferrell said witnesses were still being interviewed, but that no additional arrests were expected.

Long’s murder was the second in Adams County this year.

The other murder occurred March 11, 1999 when Katie Mae Woods of 29 Davis Court was arrested and charged with the shooting death of her husband, Randy Woods.