Rankin County DA drops manslaughter charge against Vicksburg native

Published 4:40 pm Friday, February 24, 2023

BRANDON — A Vicksburg native is no longer facing manslaughter charges for killing his neighbor in 2020, after reaching a deal with prosecutors, WLBT-TV in Jackson reported.

DeShawn Douglas shot and killed his neighbor, Chris Miln, after a confrontation captured on video where Miln could be seen strangling him. Douglas’ attorney, Scott Gilbert, has maintained that Douglas acted in self-defense.

The shooting happened in a neighborhood near the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Rankin County on Dec. 28, 2020. Douglas, a Vicksburg native who graduated from Vicksburg High School in May 2020, was living there at the time.

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Gilbert said at the time that the 54-year-old Miln had been making threats against Douglas and Douglas’ 13-year-old brother. A few months before the killing, Gilbert said, Miln threatened to hit Douglas with a shovel. In October 2020, Miln was charged with simple assault and trespassing after an incident with Douglas. Miln was ordered not to have contact with Douglas.

Madison and Rankin County District Attorney Bubba Bramlett offered a plea deal to Douglas two weeks ago. The manslaughter charge was dropped, but a charge of tampering with evidence remained because Douglas got rid of the gun used in the killing.

Douglas, who is now 21 years old, agreed and a judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Douglas is also not permitted to have any contact with Miln’s wife.

Gilbert told WLBT that he expects Douglas will be eligible for parole after a little more than two years. Gilbert also said the conviction could be expunged after Douglas completes his sentence.

“The resolution of the case reflects the judgment of the DA’s office and the Sheriff that Shawn acted in self-defense. Throughout this process, the DA’s office and the Sheriff were always willing to receive and consider the evidence we provided. We greatly appreciate their approach to the case,” Gilbert said in a statement.