Natchez man gets 20 years for manslaughter in Monroe County

Published 2:47 pm Friday, September 16, 2022

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ABERDEEN — A Natchez man who was convicted of leading police on a high-speed chase resulting in a head-on collision that killed a Starkville man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Eric William Patton of Natchez pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Monroe County Circuit Court on Thursday.

He also pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence and failing to stop for a police officer.

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At 12:45 a.m. on Oct. 25, Aberdeen Police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s office were operating a checkpoint near the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway bridge on U.S. 45 when Patton spotted it and drove his vehicle into the median to avoid it, according to police reports.

Patton drove the wrong way on U.S. 45 for three miles. He collided head-on with a 2018 Toyota Camry approximately a quarter mile past the U.S. 25 intersection.

Marqueze Donte Lawston, 22, was killed in the collision. He was apparently a passenger in the Toyota. Its driver was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Patton was also treated at an area hospital, but released.

An arrest warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody in Louisiana.