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Two arrested in connection to teen’s death

NATCHEZ — Natchez police have arrested two people in connection to the killing of a 16-year-old Natchez teenager.

Eddie Minor III, 18, 17 Prentiss St., and Emanuel C. Latham Jr., 15, 8 Hampton Court, were arrested and charged earlier this afternoon with armed robbery and murder. Though Latham is a minor he will be charged as an adult.

The two Natchez residents are accused of shooting and killing Jessie Taylor, 16.

Natchez Police Department Lt. Craig Godbold said Taylor had allegedly ridden his bicycle to the Beaumont Street area at approximately 9 p.m. Sunday to purchase synthetic marijuana from Minor and Latham.

At some point during the exchange, Godbold said, Minor and Latham decided to rob Taylor.

“A scuffle broke out between the three of them, and shots were fired,” Godbold said. “It looks as if both Latham and Minor were shooting at Taylor, and at some point Taylor may have returned fire — firing one shot after he had already been hit.”

Taylor was transported to Natchez Regional Medical Center and treated for multiple gunshot wounds. Medical personnel made several attempts to revive Taylor at the hospital in an effort to transport him to a Jackson hospital for further treatment, Adams County Coroner James Lee said at the time. Those efforts ultimately failed, and Taylor was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. at NRMC.

Investigators found several 9 mm shell casings on the street, but weren’t able to recover the weapon from which the casings were fired. Godbold said police are still searching for the weapon, or weapons, involved.

Investigators did, however, recover a .380-cal. pistol they believe belonged to Taylor, but no shell casings were recovered that matched the weapon.

Minor, who was 16 at the time, was charged in 2013 with armed robbery and murder in the shooting death of Tyrone Bernard. Minor was one of several Natchez residents accused of ambushing Bernard as he was closing up DD’s Package Store on martin Luther King Jr. Street.

Latham has only been charged previously as a minor, and Godbold said details of those arrests would not be disclosed.

Godbold said investigators are continuing to attempt to piece together more details about the incident.

Anyone with information about the shooting are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 601-442-5000. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect. Callers may remain anonymous.