Natchez man arrested in murder case

Published 12:11 am Saturday, April 7, 2012

NATCHEZ — A Natchez man has been charged with the March shooting murder of a man outside a Scotts Lane residence.

Natchez Lt. Craig Godbold said James C. Luster III, 21, 551 W. Stiers Lane, was charged with murder Friday afternoon.

Godbold said police believe Luster gunned down Carlos Wright, 23, 8 Scotts Lane, in front of Wright’s house at approximately 11 p.m. on March 6. Godbold said police believe Luster and Wright were acquaintances, and he said Luster might have attempted to rob Wright the night of the shooting.

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Police believe Luster did not act alone, and he said more arrests are expected in the case.

NPD Investigator Otis Mazique has said an officer responded to a call from a West Stiers Lane resident the night of the murder. The caller said two men were running through the resident’s backyard. He said while the officer was en route to the residence, he was flagged down as he passed Scotts Lane by a man who said his friend had been shot.

The officer saw another person, Mazique said, attempting to drag the victim into a car to take him to the hospital. The officer found Wright, who had no pulse, laying across the passenger seat of the car with his legs hanging out the door.

Metro Ambulance was dispatched to the scene and confirmed that Wright was dead.

Adams County Coroner James Lee said he arrived on the scene just after midnight and said Wright was shot at least four or five times in the back, abdomen and buttocks.

“Whoever shot him definitely wanted to make sure he was dead,” Lee said.

Mazique said officers recovered bullet casings from a .40 caliber handgun outside of Wright’s house.

Mazique said a trail of blood starting at the front of the house and ending at the side of the house indicates that Wright probably tried to flee the shooter by attempting to run to the back of the house.

Mazique said Wright’s friend reported that Wright called him after the shooting and asked him to take Wright to the hospital.

Wright’s murder is one of three murders reported so far this year in Adams County.

Anyone with any information about the murder should call NPD at 601-445-5565 or Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000. Callers can remain anonymous.