Details emerge in botched burglary turned murder as trio of suspects turned over to grand jury

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The charge remains the same for all three — capital murder for killing Newton while engaged in a felony. The men allegedly were burglarizing the house at 202 Mason Road that Newton shared with Richardson, when the couple came home and confronted the intruders.

Beacham said police received a call of shots fired at 10:30 p.m. at 202 Mason Road. While on their way there, police were told the victim was taken by personal vehicle to KDMC and was pronounced dead at 10:36 p.m.

Beacham said Lincoln County Deputy Coroner John Riggs’ preliminary report shows Newton was shot once in the chest and once in the left hip. Neither bullet was recovered at the scene, she said.

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An autopsy report by the state crime lab is not complete.

She said Richardson was interviewed by Capt. Clint Earls, who said Richardson told him he and Newton were at Skate Zone when they both received text alerts on their phones that movement was detected in their house.

They headed to Mason Road and watched the surveillance video on the phone, where they observed “four to five males in his home,” she said.

According to the interview with Earls, Newton jumped out of the car from the front passenger side and entered the house and Richardson followed. Richardson told Earls he heard her talking and heard her say ‘Get out of my house,’” Beacham said.

“He said he heard gunshots fired and he and Newton ran out of the house in different directions and he fell in the bushes and played dead until he saw the intruders leave,” Beacham said.

Richardson turned his phone over to Earls and the police department posted the surveillance video on its Facebook page. The next day, they received several anonymous tips through CrimeStoppers.

After Berry surrendered to police, he identified himself, Smith, Anderson and Shawan Allen as the four men in the video. Allen was killed in a standoff with police in Copiah County July 22.

During his interview with Beacham, Berry said Allen and Anderson held the guns and he was the getaway driver of his girlfriend’s black Dodge Charger.

Public defender Jason Barrett is representing Smith, while public defender Larry Baker is representing Anderson. Public defender Carlisle Henderson is representing Berry.

Baker said there is no proof that his client was involved in the crime.

“While watching the video, the person who was identified as Justin Anderson pulled the video camera down, or knocked it down,” Beacham said. “The video only shows him holding the gun.”

“What proof have you got that he shot anybody?” Baker asked.