Assistant DA Matthew Busby dies unexpectedly

Published 3:38 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

NATCHEZ — Assistant District Attorney Matthew Busby, who worked alongside Sixth District Attorney Shameca Collins and others in the office, died unexpectedly on Thursday.

Busby suffered a heart attack in September and posted on Facebook in mid-September that he had had a heart attack and was in the hospital for two weeks.

“They hit me with a defibrillator between 18 and 26 times … So now people think I’m super human. I had to explain I wasn’t super human, just a Marine. Recovery is slow and ongoing,” Busby wrote.

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Paul Sullivan, also an assistant district attorney in the Sixth District office, said he and his co-workers were stunned by the unexpected news of Busby’s death on Thursday.

He said Collins was in Liberty, where Busby lived, to be with his family.

“Matt was a Marine as a young man and saw action in the Philippines, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was very proud to be a Marine,” Sullivan said.

He said Busby taught high school and was very proud of that profession, but a fellow teacher convinced him he should think about going to law school.

“So he packed up his young family and headed to law school,” Sullivan said.

Busby earned his law degree from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Originally from the Gulf Coast area of Mississippi, Busby and his family lived in Liberty. He joined Collins about four years ago soon after she was elected District Attorney.

Sullivan said Busby was an excellent trial attorney.

“He worked as a prosecutor on the county in Pearl River County and had been a public defender, also. In our office, he handled murder trials and serious felonies, although he was also our drug court attorney. He was a big believer that people could turn their lives around through drug court,” Sullivan said. “If you committed a violent crime or a sex crime, Matt wanted to put you in prison. But if you were a drug addict and did something stupid like getting caught with drugs in your pocket, well, he believed in helping people change their lives.”

Busby was married and has two grown children.

Funeral arrangements will be shared when available.