NOXUBEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – A Noxubee County family plans on appealing a murder conviction that sent their relative to prison for life.
Darieous “Rico” Bryant was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for shooting and killing of 22-year-old LeMarco Tate.
The shooting happened May 2, 2009 in Shuqualak outside the Beehive Cafe.
Tate was shot once in the chest and later died at Noxubee General Hospital.
During the three day trial, several witnesses took the stand. Some witnesses claim they saw Rico Bryant with a gun, while others stated they did not, hearing on the sound of gunshots but not being able to clearly identify who the shooter was.
After officials read the verdict, the judge polled the jury, asking them for their vote. The first juror stated that guilty was not his initial vote.
The jury then went to deliberate a second time.
After the second deliberation, the jury returned, finding Bryant guilty again.
Bryant’s younger brother, Deon, spoke to WCBI. Bryant says, the family is demanding a new trial and a different venue.
“Everybody is thinking it should have been a hung jury. To send them back in there after that and come back out, in some kind of way I don’t know what went on. Seems like they may have been convinced or manipulated into changing their answers. Even when they were answering they had their heads down, they had long pauses in between them saying guilty. If we could get a change of venue in some kind of way I rather it not be in Noxubee county because I really don’t feel like the system up there is fair.” Says Bryant.
Attorneys say the family does have grounds for an appeal because of the juror’s change of thought during the polling.