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Convicted felon wanted in Lincoln County shooting

Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies are searching for a man wanted for allegedly shooting an acquaintance in the lower leg early Saturday.

A judge signed a warrant Monday for aggravated assault charges for 29-year-old Andrew Hammond, said Sheriff Steve Rushing.

A Lincoln County jury convicted Hammond of manslaughter in 2011, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended and five years of probation, according to court records.

Rushing said it’s likely Hammond will also be charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

The victim, who Rushing said is a “friend of a friend” of Hammond’s, arrived at King’s Daughters Medical Center about 3 a.m. Saturday. He was taken to University of Mississippi Medical Center for surgery for injuries that did not appear to be life threatening.

Rushing said the shooting occurred on Wellman Drive between Bogue Chitto and East Lincoln following a dispute by the two men over some property. The shooting was at the home of the mutual friend, Rushing said.

Prosecutors had originally indicted and charged Hammond with murder for the 2010 shooting death of 45-year-old William “Bubba” Thompson of Bogue Chitto at the residence of Thompson’s daughter, Gena Thompson.

At trial, defense attorney Joe Fernald had claimed the killing was in self-defense, alleging Thompson was angry the night of his death and had on a prior occasion assaulted Hammond.

On the night of the shooting, Hammond hid in a back bedroom when Thompson entered the house. According to court records, when Thompson came into the bedroom where Hammond was, he shot Thompson in the side.

Hammond was sentenced in January 2011 to a 20-year prison term with five to serve for the fatal shooting.

A jury found Hammond guilty of manslaughter at the conclusion of a two-day murder trial.

In addition to the prison sentence, Lincoln County Circuit Judge David Strong ordered Hammond to pay court costs, the Thompson family’s medical and funeral expenses and a $5,000 fine.

In 2013, the state Court of Appeals upheld the manslaughter conviction.

Anyone with information on Hammond’s whereabouts is asked to call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 601-833-5251 or Crime Stoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.