CANTON, Miss. (AP) — The former firefighter accused of fatally shooting a defendant outside a Canton, Mississippi, courthouse has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
Jurors returned the verdict Tuesday against William Wells, who will serve life in prison for the Aug. 3, 2015 shooting of Kendrick Brown. That morning, Wells drove his truck to the Madison County Courthouse parking lot, about 27 miles north of Jackson, where Brown was outside awaiting trial for drug possession. Wells then approached Brown and shot him once in the chest.
In their closing statements, defense lawyers said Wells killed Brown but is not guilty of first- or second-degree murder because state prosecutors failed to prove the act was "deliberate design." Prosecutors argued that though Wells didn't have a predetermined plan, every step he took to shoot Brown was a deliberate act.