Man pleads to helping his brother charged in officer’s death
(AP) — A Mississippi man told a judge Thursday that he helped his brother try to evade investigators as his brother was being sought in the 2019 shooting death of a Biloxi police officer.
Davian Atkinson, 22, pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory after the fact to capital murder, news outlets reported. His brother, 20-year-old Darian Atkinson, is awaiting trial on a capital murder charge in the slaying of Officer Robert “Mac” McKeithen.
Davian Atkinson became the fifth person to plead to accessory-after-the-fact charges in the case. He said Thursday in Harrison County Circuit Court that he gave his brother a ride to Wiggins during the early hours of May 6, 2019. He also admitted knowing at that time that his brother was a suspect in the killing of a police officer, and that he was hoping to help his brother escape capture.
Circuit Judge Christopher Schmidt ruled last week that Darian Atkinson is mentally competent to stand trial. Defense attorney Theressia Lyons plans to argue insanity during the trial that is set to begin Sept. 20. She said Darian Aktinson has a mental and emotional impairment that prevents him from fully understanding his actions the night McKeithen was shot.
Davian Atkinson and four other people who have pleaded guilty to accessory charges are set to be sentenced on Sept. 8. Davian Atkinson’s attorney, Michael Crosby, said he plans to submit letters to the judge from people attesting to his client’s character and lack of prior arrests.
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