Man accused of killing Mississippi folk artist found not guilty in trial

Published 6:09 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

A man accused of killing a Mississippi folk artist has been found not guilty by a jury that deliberated for about five hours Wednesday before handing down a verdict.

An Adams County jury found Arthur Moore, 46, not guilty in the death of James Henry Williams, 54.

Moore faced murder charges in the Jan. 22, 2019, killing of Williams at a home at 9 Oscar Lane. Investigators allege Moore killed Williams after a fight broke out at that residence between Moore and Williams’ brother. Jurors did not see it that way.

Moore went on the run after the crime, but was apprehended in Natchez two months later after search efforts by the Natchez Police Department, Adam’s County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal Service.

A jury was seated Tuesday afternoon in the Sixth District Circuit Courtroom of Judge Debra W. Blackwell. Opening arguments in the case began at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The case was sent to the jury at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The case was prosecuted by Ninth Circuit Court District Attorneys Michael Warren and Branan Southerland of Vicksburg because the Sixth District Prosecutor Shameca Collins had a conflict in the case. Collins is related to Moore.

Moore was represented in the case by attorneys Noah Drake and Jeffery Harness.