The Latest: Courthouse shooting suspect involved in fight

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Posted: Aug 04, 2015 5:53 PM
The Latest: Courthouse shooting suspect involved in fight

CANTON, Miss. (AP) — The latest on a fatal shooting outside a Mississippi courthouse (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

The district attorney says the man accused of killing a man outside a Mississippi courthouse had been involved in a fistfight in June and fired a gun into the ground during that altercation.

Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest says William B. Wells was charged with felony aggravated assault after the fight June 28. It was not immediately known who else was involved in that fight at Wells' home or whether anyone else was arrested.

Wells later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge related to that fight.

Guest says he had not heard of the felony aggravated assault charge until an Associated Press reporter brought it to his attention Tuesday. He says he intends to examine the Canton police file on Wednesday to determine whether the case should be presented to a grand jury.

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3:30 p.m.

The man accused in a Mississippi courthouse shooting was arrested last month on a felony charge of aggravated assault with a weapon, contradicting earlier statements by police that the suspect had never before been in serious trouble.

On Tuesday, Gwendolyn Miles, deputy court clerk in Canton, confirmed the July 1 charge against 24-year-old William B. Wells to an Associated Press reporter. She says that as a felony, it was sent to circuit court. No further details on the charge were immediately available.

Wells is accused of shooting a defendant outside the county courthouse in Canton on Monday. His bail was set at $300,000 Tuesday. Officials are investigating whether Brown was retaliating for the recent nonfatal shooting of his mother. She was scheduled to testify against Brown.

Court documents show that Wells also pleaded guilty last month to a misdemeanor charge of firing a gun inside city limits.

It was unclear whether either case should have prevented Wells from obtaining a firearm. A semiautomatic handgun was used in Monday's shooting.

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2:10 p.m.

A judge has set bail at $300,000 for a man accused of shooting a defendant in a drug case outside a Mississippi courthouse.

Madison County Justice Court Judge Mamie Chinn set the amount for 24-year-old William B. Wells on Tuesday. He appeared over video from jail, where he has been since Monday's shooting. He was represented by lawyer John Christopher.

Wells is accused of shooting 37-year-old Kendrick A. Brown outside the Madison County Courthouse.

District Attorney Michael Guest says authorities are investigating whether Wells was trying to retaliate for the nonfatal Saturday shooting of his mother, Sherry Wells. Guest says Sherry Wells was scheduled to testify against Brown on drug charges.

Brown, twice convicted on earlier drug charges, could have faced life in prison under Mississippi's three-strikes habitual offender law.