Accused killer not indicted

Published 10:40 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Claudis Montgomery

Claudis Montgomery

The man accused of a July murder in Brookhaven was released from the Lincoln County jail Monday after a grand jury refused to indict him in its December session.

Claudis D. Montgomery, 40, of 4208 Highway 550, was arrested and charged with murder on July 7 after the July 5 shooting of Kelcay Humphrey, 25, at Cloverdale No. 73. According to court documents dated Dec. 9, the grand jury refused to indict Montgomery, meaning he no longer faces the murder charge. Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing confirmed Montgomery was released from jail Monday.

Humphrey’s death happened the night before the slaying of Bridget Carmele London Hall, 43, who was fatally shot on July 6 in her home on Vivian Merritt Street. Montgomery’s brother, Claude, was Hall’s boyfriend. That association has raised speculation that the two murders are connected.

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“We’re still working on the motive,” Police Chief Bobby Bell said in July. “We don’t know the motive, but we have enough evidence to charge him.”

Bell said his office received a call at 5:41 p.m. on July 5 saying a victim had been shot. When officers arrived they found Humphrey had been shot multiple times in the back. Bell said witnesses say the victim was approached from the back and the shooter opened fire on him. Bell said according to witnesses the victim was shot approximately between eight and 12 times.

Humphrey was charged with murder in the 2008 shooting death of William Ard Jr. Ard was shot in the back at Cloverdale No. 57. Police said Ard and Humphrey had no prior relationship. Humphrey was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years but was on earned release supervision when he was fatally shot, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Bell was not immediately available for comment.

Other accused persons who were not indicted on Dec. 9 (meaning the grand jury found that they should not proceed with the charges against the accused) are as follows: Amanda Ingram was cleared of grand larceny and conspiracy; William Porter was cleared of grand larceny and conspiracy; Troy Earl Washington was cleared of a drive-by shooting; Jeff James was cleared of cyberstalking; William Dacy Porter was cleared of sexual battery; Bradly Wells was cleared of child support charges; Rashawn D. Smith was cleared of attempted grand larceny and burglary of a dwelling and James C. Hall was cleared of uttering forgery.

These individuals were cleared of the charges as they were presented to the grand jury.