Video: Testimony Begins in Clay Trial Moved to Union County
NEW ALBANY/WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) — A Union County jury heard from two witnesses Monday afternoon as the trial of a man accused of first degree murder for killing a Starkville teen in Clay County.
Tavaris Collins, 34, is accused of fatally shooting 16-year-old Devin Mitchell of Starkville outside a West Point apartment complex just after midnight on New Years Day in 2012. Mitchell, who was a junior at Starkville High at the time, was visiting family in West Point at the time.
Last month, Collins rejected a deal to plead to second degree murder and take 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole. He has prior felony convictions and is charged as a habitual offender.
Collins claims he thought the sound of fireworks were people shooting at him.
A change of venue was granted from Clay County to Union County. Collins faces life in prison without the possibility of parole and an additional ten years on two felony weapons charges.
The trial could end as early as Wednesday.