4 youths sentenced in drive-by shooting
CANTON — Four young men accused of shooting innocent bystanders during a drive-by shooting here in December were each sentenced to 20 years in prison last week, Madison County District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced.
The young men, Gaddis McCullough Jr., 15, Jamarion Mitchell, 17, Jurmarcus Taylor, 19, and Alphonso Ray, 21, all were changed as adults and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and were sentenced to the maximum sentence of 20 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Bramlett said in a news release.
“We continue to see a rise in young men committing violent crimes in Madison County, and we want to make one thing clear: You will be sent to prison just as if you are an adult,” Bramlett said. “We will not stand for this type of senseless violence in Madison and Rankin counties.”
They were sentenced by Judge Steve Ratcliff in Madison County Circuit Court.
“We take no joy in sending teenagers to prison, but we will continue to whatever it takes to make all of our communities a safe place to live and work,” Bramlett said.
On Dec. 28, 2021, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department was doing surveillance at the Cypress Meadows Apartments in Canton in conjunction with the murder a man which had occurred two hours earlier.
“We are thankful the Madison County Sheriff’s Department was on scene when this drive-by shooting happened so they could quickly apprehend these four individuals and solve this case,” Bramlett said.
Bramlett said the murder of the man appeared to be gang-related and it was believed the car used in that drive-by shooting was in the parking lot of the Cypress Meadows complex.
While there, officers witnessed another drive-by shooting and immediately attempted to stop the car. After a high-speed chase through Canton, the driver of the car wrecked in a ditch and all four occupants fled. Three were immediately taken into custody and Taylor turned himself in days later.
Two bystanders were in the parking lot of the apartment complex at the time of the drive-by and both were struck by gunfire.
After an extensive investigation into the shooting, the Madison County Sherrif’s Department determined that McCullough, Mitchell, and Ray, all of whom resided in Yazoo County, had heard about the murder of James Porter the SO was investigating and came to retaliate against the individuals responsible.
They met up with Taylor, who was from Canton, and he directed them to a possible location, law enforcement officials said.
They then fired multiple times upon a group of bystanders located in the parking lot. There is no indication that either of the two individuals hit were part of the earlier shooting, Bramlett said.
The four suspects were charged as adults with crimes stemming from the incident and allowed to plead to aggravated assault to which they were sentenced to the maximum allowed by law, Bramlett said.