‘I feel he has a life sentence already.’ Grandmother says man who played role in granddaughter’s murder deserves mercy.

Published 2:39 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

A man who pleaded guilty to accessory before the fact of first-degree murder will spend the rest of his sentence under supervise released after a court hearing on Friday morning.

Adams County District Attorney Shameca Collins said Curtavius Knight, who pleaded guilty to the charge in September, had little to do with the shooting and killing of 17-year-old Shakeria King. He had been a passenger in the car and truthfully told investigators what happened, she said. Knight has been at the Adams County Jail since the shooting in 2018.

Knight apologized to King’s family Friday in Sixth District Circuit Court, where Judge Lillie Sanders sentenced him to 20 years with 10 years suspended sentence with approximately five years credit for time served and the remaining five years to be served under post-release supervision.

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“I am truly sorry,” Knight said, turning to face the victim’s family in the courtroom.

He said he had learned to cut hair while he was in prison and hoped to go back to school and become a professional in the trade.

Prosecutors said Knight’s testimony helped them reach a guilty verdict for Montreal Brown, who received a 70-year prison sentence for King’s murder earlier this month on top of a 20-year sentence he was serving for a different shooting incident that injured another teen in November 2016.

A letter that Betty Johnson, King’s grandmother, wrote to Sanders was read out loud in the courtroom, asking the judge to show Knight mercy.

“I feel he has a life sentence already,” the letter said. “He will have to look over his shoulder everywhere he goes and every time he closes his eyes, he will see her face.”

King was the mother of a 17-month-old child and died of a fatal gunshot wound early Sunday morning on July 22, 2018, at the Holiday Apartments on Old Washington Road in Natchez.

King and J’Landick Davis were reportedly standing outside in Holidays Apartments with a group of people when gunfire came at them from a car containing Brown, Carianta Allen, Curtavius Knight and Nicholas McGrew. King was hit in her back and later succumbed to her injuries. Davis was struck once in the leg.

McGrew pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and Judge Lillie Sanders sentenced him to 25 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections on Jan. 31, 2022, with credit for time served. He has remained in jail since the 2018 shooting.

Judge Debra Blackwell also sentenced Allen to 40 years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections on April 1, 2021, when he pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge.