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Man shot to death awaiting court appearance in Mississippi

Published:Monday | August 3, 2015 | 2:58 PM

CANTON, Mississippi (AP):

A man got out of his pickup, walked up to the defendant in a drug-dealing case and fatally shot him in the chest, then set down his gun and surrendered as deputies confronted him outside a Mississippi courthouse yesterday morning, law enforcement officials said.

Police and other officials said they weren't sure why the suspect 24-year-old William B. Wells, a former Canton firefighter with no history of trouble would shoot victim Kendrick Armond Brown.

Brown was in a small courtyard outside the Madison County Courthouse with his lawyer when he was shot, District Attorney Michael Guest said. Brown, 37, faced charges of selling cocaine and was a habitual offender who had been sentenced to prison time on past drug counts, according to an indictment. He was expected to reject a plea offer on his latest charges Monday and was not a witness or a suspect in other current criminal cases, Guest said.

Wells was in the county jail with a bail hearing set for 10 a.m. Tuesday. Before yesterday, "he hadn't been in any trouble or anything," Canton Police Chief Otha Brown said.

But on Saturday night, the chief said, Wells' mother was shot and wounded while in her car. She drove herself to the Canton Police Department, reported that she'd been shot, and was transferred to a hospital in an ambulance, according to police. The chief refused to give her name, citing the ongoing investigation.

Earlier, Guest described the relative in the Saturday shooting as a female "informant". He said officials didn't know whether the shootings were linked.