WEST POINT, Miss. — A 19-year-old man and three teenagers each face a capital murder charge in the mid-March death of a Mississippi man, authorities said.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday arrested Emerson Houston, two 17-year-old boys and a 15-year-old boy, all from West Point, in the March 11 death of Mikel Craven, 41. Investigators said Craven was found in a ditch with gunshot wounds.
Investigators said the suspects allegedly intended to rob Craven. Robbery is the underlying felony that allowed the state to charge them with capital murder. Sheriff’s investigators, in conjunction with the district attorney’s office, continue to investigate the case.
Judge Thomas Hampton denied bond for three of the suspects, who are being held in the Clay County Detention Center, news outlets reported. Sheriff Eddie Scott said the youngest suspect was the only one given a conditional bond, set at $75,000 and includes the wearing of an ankle monitor.
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It was unknown if any of them have an attorney who could speak on their behalf.
While all three are charged as adults with capital murder, only Houston could face the death penalty if convicted. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court banned capital punishment for crimes committed by those under 18.
The four defendants are to appear in court again May 19 for a preliminary hearing.
Scott said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact the Clay County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers.