Watkins to be arraigned today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 4, 2010

NATCHEZ — A Natchez man who allegedly confessed to murdering another man and injuring a woman this past weekend, will be arraigned today.

Larry Watkins, 19, 1400 Lafayette St., will be arraigned on charges of murder and aggravated assault, Police Chief Mike Mullins said.

Watkins was arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly confessing to fatally shooting Benjamin Hargrave, 21, and wounding Curshala Pernell, 19, with a handgun. The incident occurred at 1:38 a.m., at 1401 Lafayette St.

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Mullins said police believe the murder and assault were the result of domestic disputes, but the investigation is ongoing.

New developments have also been made in local murder cases from the past year.

The murder trial for Lizzie Madison and Paul M. Green is set for Nov. 9.

The trial was originally scheduled for today, but their lawyers requested a continuance in early July. Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson granted the request..

Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Madison and Green for the brutal beating and murder of Clark Felton Jr. in August 2009.

The case of Jamon Williams, who allegedly fatally struck John “Body Man” Henderson on Madison Street in September 2009, was transfered to youth court May 27, after a grand jury indicted him for manslaughter.

Although Williams was 16 years old at the time of charge, he faced the grand jury as an adult because children over 13 can be charged as an adult for capital offenses, such as murder.

Because the grand jury indicted him for manslaughter — not murder — he will be tried as a minor because manslaughter is not a capital offense.

Youth court proceedings are not made available to the public by law, but Williams has not yet been tried.

Willie Duck was released under nolle prosequi, or “dismissed without prejudice,” for charges related to the August 2009 murder of Natchez resident Terry Lynn Farmer.

Duck, of Fayette, was charged with accessory after the fact to rape, accessory after the fact to murder and accessory after the fact to arson.

Farmer’s body was discovered at her Shadow Lane residence when NPD officers patrolling the area smelled an odor of smoke and followed it to Farmer’s house.

After the fire was extinguished Farmer’s body was discovered and evidence gathered at the scene indicated that she had been murdered and the fire set to conceal the evidence. Evidence also revealed she was beaten, shot and raped.

Other cases to be heard in September by Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders:

4The trial for Uthaw Ellis Turner is set for Sept. 20. Turner of Natchez was charged last July with two counts of sexual battery and one count child molestation.

A mother and her 13-year-old daughter reported to the sheriff’s that the mother’s ex-husband was sexually abusing the young girl.

4The trial for Terry Holmes, Parnell McBride and Nolan Morrison Jr. on sexual battery charges is set for Sept. 27.

The three men were arrested last year for sexual battery of children who were age 2 and 4 at the time of the alleged incident, according to court testimony.

4The trial for Willie Morris Jr., 44, for aggravated assault and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, is set for late September.

Morris was accused of shooting his girlfriend in the arm in January at Williams Apartments, and was apprehended in Alabama and charged with aggravated assault and domestic violence.