Fifth man charged with link to Mississippi officer's killing

Andre Sullivan - Harrison County Sheriff's Department

A fifth person is now charged in connection with a Mississippi police officer's killing.

Posted: May 10, 2019 11:39 AM
Updated: May 10, 2019 4:45 PM

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A fifth person has been arrested on charges stemming from the slaying of a Mississippi police officer outside his police station.

Andre A. Sullivan was charged Thursday as an accessory after the fact and jailed in Harrison County.


Robert McKeithen

Darian Tawan Atkinson

Investigators say he and two other men — 20-year-old Dalentez Latavian Brice, and 21-year-old Joshua Michael Kovach — helped Darian Atkinson change clothes after Atkinson shot Biloxi police officer Robert McKeithen. Brice and Kovach face the same charge as the 18-year-old Sullivan.

Atkinson, 19, is charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of McKeithen on Sunday night in the parking lot of Biloxi's police station. He was arrested Monday in Wiggins after a daylong manhunt.

Darian Atkinson's brother, Davian Atkinson, 21, is also charged with being an accessory after the fact. Investigators say he let his younger brother use his phone and drove him to Wiggins, 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Biloxi.

The shooting suspect initially declined to be represented by a public defender, but the Sun Herald reports he finally accepted one Friday.

Public defender Theressa Lyons told Harrison County Justice Court Judge Brandon Ladner that Atkinson's mother said they would not be hiring a private attorney. Lyons also said an online attempt to raise money for a private lawyer had been shut down.

Ladner and Lyons had to assure Atkinson that the public defender's office wasn't working in league with police or prosecutors.

"Our office is separate and apart and we don't have any affiliation with the police department or district attorney's office in any way," Lyons said.

Darian Atkinson again appeared in court Friday wearing a restraining vest meant to prevent suicide attempts. He told the judge he wanted to be removed from suicide watch at the jail. However, WLOX-TV reports that Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson said Atkinson is not on suicide watch and is instead held in an isolated area where he can be closely monitored.

The judge appointed lawyer Lisa Collums to represent Atkinson. Lyons said a preliminary hearing where prosecutors lay out the case against Atkinson in advance of grand jury proceedings could come in June.

Ladner on Friday revoked bail on earlier unrelated criminal charges for Sullivan and Brice, ordering them jailed without possibility of pretrial release. Bail is set at $500,000 for Davian Atkinson and Kovach, who each remain in the Harrison County jail.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
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Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
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Washington73713
Copiah67016
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Lamar5837
Wayne56519
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Lowndes54817
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Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
Covington4465
Simpson4433
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Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
Adams35820
Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
Chickasaw30019
Marshall2923
Jasper2816
Noxubee2799
Walthall2708
Clay26111
Union25412
Smith25212
Coahoma2306
Clarke22325
Lawrence2132
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18211
Montgomery1793
Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
Itawamba1478
Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 52908

Reported Deaths: 1093
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
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