Kelly found guilty of capital murder

Mugshot of James Kelly
Mugshot of James Kelly(WTOK)
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 8:23 PM CST
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PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - UPDATE: A Neshoba County jury has found James Kelly guilty of capital murder in the case of DeMarquis Houston.

A Neshoba County jury deliberated for a short time Tuesday. Kelly was one of two people charged with capital murder after DeMarquis Houston’s body was found in a pond in 2019. The other, Tyrone Braxton, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is serving 20 years.

“There’s not going to be a sentencing phase; they call it a bifurcated trial,” said 8th Circuit Court District Attorney Steve Kilgore. “In which the first half, the jury decides whether or not the defendant is guilty or not guilty and then you have a whole different trial to determine what punishment will be set by the jury.”

The trial started Monday with opening arguments and statements from key witnesses, including Braxton and law enforcement involved in the case.

Sentencing will be Nov. 23 at 9 a.m.

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