NOT GUILTY: Jury takes just 26 minutes to render verdict in aggravated assault case

Published 1:49 pm Saturday, October 14, 2023

NATCHEZ — It took a jury of his peers just 26 minutes to acquit Jadarrius Knight, 28, of aggravated assault charges in Sixth District Circuit Court Judge Debra Blackwell’s courtroom in Adams County Saturday morning.

Jadarrius Knight

The trial began on Thursday afternoon. Closing arguments began Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and went to the jury just after 11 a.m. The jury brought back its verdict at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Attorney Aisha Sanders and company were able to successfully cast doubt as to whether it was Jadarrius Knight who shot his cousin Giovanni Dent at a family gathering on Saragossa Road on May 22, 2022, despite the victim and another cousin, Janel Blanton, testifying otherwise.

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Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten’s office investigated the case. However, District Attorney Shameca Collins’ prosecutors did not call investigators or deputies who worked the case to testify.

Knight and Dent are cousins. They were at a family gathering when two sisters began to fight. Dent claimed he went to break up the fight, but Knight thought he was interfering. A fight ensued between Dent and Knight, which was joined by Knight’s brother, Jadarrian, and Dent’s brother, Vincent “V.J.”

Co-counsel Everett Sanders was able to impeach the testimony of Blanton, who originally claimed to sheriff’s deputies she saw Knight shoot Dent. However, upon cross examination, Blanton said she only saw Knight running away while holding a gun.

Aisha Sanders introduced an alternate theory, that it was the victim’s brother, Vincent “V.J.” who actually shot Dent accidentally while meaning to shoot Knight.