Police identify suspect in Wednesday murder

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2001

Twelve hours after Alex Carter was found murdered off Old Smith’s Lane Wednesday morning, police had one person in custody and were searching for a second.

The 20-year-old Natchez resident was found by school bus driver Theodora Johnson and her 10 small passengers at around 6:15 a.m.

Johnson said she was turning the bus around near Old Smith’s Lane off Cemetery Road when they saw Carter’s body. Hoping he was asleep, Johnson honked the horn.

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&uot;We were looking right in his eyes,&uot; she said.

Johnson said she stopped a passing motorist, who called police on a cellular telephone.

&uot;All I could think about was his mom and what she was going to have to deal with today,&uot; Johnson said.

Investigators spent the day talking to dozens of people who knew Carter.

By nightfall, police believed they had pieced together enough of what had happened to make an arrest, Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said.

Brandy Forman, 21, of 113 Jim New Road in Ferriday,&160;La., was arrested at 6:56 p.m. and charged as an accessory after the fact of murder. She was being held without bond in the Natchez City Jail pending arraignment.

&uot;We developed probable cause to charge her and issue a warrant for Cedric Williams,&uot; Huff said.

Police believe Williams shot Carter, but Huff refused to suggest a possible motive.

&uot;We’re still trying to determine motive, and we’re still piecing the facts together,&uot;&160;Huff said. &uot;The circumstances around the homicide are still being investigated. There could be more arrests.&uot;

Police have not recovered a weapon.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said a preliminary autopsy Wednesday night showed that Carter died of massive internal hemorrhage caused by one gunshot wound to the lower left part of his abdomen.

He also appeared to have some injuries that might have been caused by his fall, Lee said.

Carter was found lying face down at the end of an abandoned gravel driveway that entered the road where Old Smith Lane forks away from Cemetery Road – miles from his Kudzu Lane residence.

Lee said he estimates the victim was shot around 3 or 4 a.m., which coincides with reports of residents in the area.

Theodore Johnson, who lives near where Carter’s body was found, said he woke up at about 4 a.m. and heard what he believed where three gunshots.

&uot;I looked out the window to see if (I) could see anything,&uot; Johnson said.

Johnson was surprised Wednesday afternoon that the gunshots he heard might be connected to a murder.

&uot;I never dreamed there’d be (a) death involved with it,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;It makes you aware … of the things that could happen.&uot;

Police were still searching for Williams late Wednesday night.

&uot;He should be considered armed and dangerous, and we need the citizens’ assistance to locate him,&uot; Huff said, asking that anyone with information about his whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers at (601) 442-5000.

All calls are anonymous.

A cash reward of up to $1,000 could be available to anyone with information leading to the arrest of Williams.

&uot;I feel like this case will be broken on a Crime Stoppers call,&uot; Huff said.

Williams, 41, is 5-foot, 6-inches tall, and his last known address was 802 N. Rankin St., Huff said.

Bus driver Johnson said the children on her bus asked her Wednesday afternoon what had happened to the man, and she had to tell them that he was dead.