Mall murder suspect in Natchez jail

Published 12:01 am Monday, December 31, 2012

NATCHEZ — The man wanted in an August 2011 murder outside the Natchez Mall who was arrested in late November in Michigan is now in a Natchez jail.

Lee R. Smith, 19, 14862 Tracey, Detroit, was booked into the Natchez City Jail Saturday afternoon on charges of murder. No bond has been set.

Smith was the alleged shooter in the death of Walter Washington.

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Natchez Police were aware of his Michigan arrest and were awaiting his extradition. He will now face trial in Adams County.

Three other men originally charged with murder — Datarrius T. Matthews, 18, 14 Woodside Court; Latravis K. Clay, 21, 104 Dumas Drive Apt. A and Brandon Christopher Collins, 22, 104 Dumas Drive — now only face charges of accessory after the fact.

Washington was killed while sitting in a vehicle in the mall parking lot. The shooter reportedly shot from another vehicle.

Police have said evidence shows Matthews and Clay were in the vehicle with the shooter when the crime occurred.

Police also believe the murder was intended to be retaliation for a February shooting at Club Paradise in which Calvin Matthews was shot four times and Washington was charged with the crime. Matthews was hospitalized for more than a week after the first shooting.