Vicksburg teen acquitted of first-degree murder in 2021 shooting
Published 10:47 am Tuesday, October 3, 2023
A 17-year-old Vicksburg teen was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the June 2021 shooting death of Malik Shamar Vallerie, 21, after a four-day trial in Warren County Circuit Court.
Ninth Circuit District Attorney Ricky Smith said Demarion Reed, 17, was acquitted after the trial jury “came back with a relatively quick verdict of not guilty” in the case. Smith said he had not discussed the case with the trial jurors.
“We were dealing with a fairly young defendant and we had two eyewitnesses that testified Demarion was the shooter, but it’s obvious the jury did not find them credible,” he said, adding one eyewitness was 12 and the other 15 at the time of the shooting.
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Also, Smith said, he believed some factors introduced during the trial by Reed’s attorney that were not included in the investigation of Vallerie’s death may have had an impact on the jury.
He said a trial date has not been set for Reed’s co-defendant, Laquesha Monique Davis, 31. Davis, who is charged with first-degree murder and directing a child to commit a felony for allegedly directing Reed to shoot Vallerie, is out on bond. Her case was separated from Reed’s following a motion by her defense attorney.
Reed, who was 15 at the time, and Davis were indicted on the murder charge by a February 2022 grand jury.
According to Vicksburg police reports, officers responding to an afternoon call of gunshots near the Vicksburg Animal Shelter at 100 Old Mill Road in the Kings community found Vallerie’s body in a wooded area behind the animal shelter. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A firearm believed to have been used in the shooting was recovered from the scene.
According to police, several witnesses were interviewed and provided statements at the Vicksburg police station, which led to the arrests of Davis and Reed.