Flora man convicted in January shooting
A Flora man has been sentenced to life in prison in connection with a shooting death that occurred in January.
Jakeviyon Demarquise Hunter, 22, was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder and one count of shooting into an occupied vehicle after a three-day jury trial that ended earlier this month in the Madison County Circuit Court, according to District Attorney Bubba Bramlett announced earlier this month.
Circuit Judge Dewey Arthur sentenced him to life in prison for the murder charge and five years for shooting into a vehicle.
On January 21, at about 1:30 p.m. law enforcement officers with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office were called to 623 Street Charles Street in Flora on reports of an individual being shot, according to Bramlett. Upon arrival, deputies found Jaquarius Ross, who was 21 years old at the time, dead with multiple gunshots to the left side of his body.
“We hope the guilty verdict gives Mr. Ross’s family closure and our hearts go out to them for their loss,” Bramlett said.
Officers were able to obtain surveillance footage from a neighboring home. The video showed Ross pull up at the residence, and almost immediately an individual approached his truck and fired approximately nine shots into the vehicle, Bramlett said. The suspect then fled on foot. Officers could tell the suspect was wearing a tan-colored hoodie.
The passenger of the vehicle was unharmed and was able to tell officers that Hunter was the gunman.
Investigators were then able to track Hunter down and obtain a search warrant for his cell phone. Phone records showed that Hunter had told Ross to come to his home under the guise of bringing him a pair of shoes.
Investigators had reportedly found the shoes still in Ross’s lap when he was murdered.
They were also able to use the location data stored on Hunter’s phone to put him on the scene.
Officers also discovered a social media post that Hunter made hours before the shooting where he was wearing a tan hoodie matching the one seen on the original surveillance tape, the investigation reported.
“The Madison County Sheriff’s Office conducted an extensive investigation in this matter which led to the quick apprehension of Mr. Hunter,” Bramlett said. “Finally, we thank all of those who showed up for jury duty. Madison and Rankin counties cannot remain among the best counties in this State without citizens who are willing to show up and do their civic duty.”
It appears Hunter was motivated by a prior dispute between the two, Bramlett said.
“This was such a senseless shooting, and because of it, Jaquarius Ross lost his life and Jakeviyon Hunter will spend the rest of his life behind bars,” Bramlett said.