Man charged with murder accepts plea deal for imperfect self-defense manslaughter

Published 11:52 am Friday, September 29, 2023

NATCHEZ — A man charged with the murder of his girlfriend in August 2021 accepted a plea deal this week offered by Sixth District Attorney Shameca Collins to reduced charges of imperfect self-defense manslaughter.

Devonte Jackson, 25, is held on a murder charge after he turned himself in and confessed to shooting Devoncia Hammett in Natchez Saturday morning. (Submitted Photo)

Devonte M. Jackson was 25 on Aug. 14, 2021, when he was charged with murder for the shooting death of Devoncia Hammett, also 25 at the time, near her residence at 206 Country Club Drive in Natchez at approximately 3:14 a.m.

Later that day, Jackson turned himself in to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. According to a press release issued at the time, Jackson is said to have made a full confession to the crime and the weapon used was recovered.

Email newsletter signup

Apparently, the two were a couple and got into a verbal altercation during a phone call before Jackson drove to the residence and got into a physical altercation with Hammett, which escalated to a shooting.

Sentencing for Jackson is set for later this month.

His defense attorney, Zach Jex of Natchez, said he had sought these charges from the beginning of the case.

“She (the victim) was on the phone with a friend (at the time Jackson arrived at her home) and told the friend, ‘I’m going to go outside and fight Devonte,’ ” Jex said. “She attacked him with a fist and she tried to grab his arm and there was a struggle over the gun. The holster was found in the grass. Those things are meant to stay in place. The sheriff’s office recovered it from the ground, which tells me she did struggle with him over the gun.”

Jex said the charge of imperfect self-defense manslaughter is meant for this crime.

“At the moment, people think they are in the right and are defending themselves, but later, they agree, that may not have been rational thinking. It was a split-second decision. In this case, she was not armed,” he said.

Collins did not immediately return a call seeking comment.