Natchez man pleads to negligent homicide

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 17, 2013

VIDALIA — A Natchez man pleaded no contest Friday to negligent homicide charges for killing a man during a 2011 shooting over a territory dispute in Vidalia.

Lionel Maurice Dean, 28, 128 John Glenn Ave., entered his no contest plea in the Seventh Judicial District Court just a couple of days before the case was set for trial in Concordia Parish, according to court documents.

A no contest plea indicates a refusal to admit guilt but has the same effect as a guilty plea.

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Dean was arrested and charged in May 2011 with two counts of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree murder for his involvement in an April 25, 2011, shooting during in which Dean and two other men were shot in the 300 block of South Spruce Street

Derrick Smith, 20, of Vidalia was shot one time in the chest area and died later from the gunshot wound.

Dean was shot one time in the chest area and treated at a local hospital.

Duntrell R. Washington, 27, of Vidalia was also struck one time in the right shoulder and was able to drive himself to the hospital before police arrived on the scene.

Initial eyewitness reports of the incident indicated that the shooting stemmed from a territory dispute among Vidalia residents from “uptown” and “downtown.”

“Uptown” Vidalia is on the north side of Carter Street, and reportedly ranges from the old courthouse to the river.

“Downtown” is on the south side of Carter Street, and reportedly extends from the police station on John Dale Drive to the riverfront.

Dean faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Calls to District Attorney Brad Burget were not returned.