Police: Man admits to murder at scene

Published 3:39 pm Sunday, August 1, 2010

NATCHEZ — A man apparently responsible for murdering one man and injuring a woman had no problem admitting guilt when police arrived on the scene.

Larry Watkins, 19, 1400 Lafayette St., was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and murder early Saturday morning.

“When the officers arrived, he walked up and said he did it,” Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

The shooting occurred at 1:38 a.m. at 1401 Lafayette St.

Benjamin Hargrave, 21, was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been shot three times in the chest.

His wounds were consistent with a 9 mm bullet, Adams County Coroner James Lee said.

Curshala Pernell, 19, was shot once in the arm.

“We are still investigating the exact cause, but we have determined that it was over a domestic issue,” Mullins said. “These three individuals have known each other for most of their lives.”

Pernell was treated and released at Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Mullins said Watkins allegedly shot Hargrave with a handgun, but he would not release the type of gun.

“It is just devastating,” Lee said. “I see it all the time, but it doesn’t get any easier.

“I don’t have the words to explain why we continue to have these things, but something has to be done because it is just devastating all around.”

Mullins said the investigation is ongoing.