Demarco Kelly has been found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole for the shooting and killing of a Mantachie man.

The jury deliberated roughly two hours, Friday afternoon, before handing down a guilty verdict against Kelly, who was charged with shooting and killing Andre Taylor in 2015. Kelly’s sentence was given immediately afterward.

Although a charge of capital murder can and often does come with a potential for a death penalty verdict, the state sought a maximum penalty of life without the possibility of release.

Judge Paul Funderburk of Mississippi’s First Judicial District, who presided over the trial, ordered Kelly be turned over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections immediately.

Jury selection began last Tuesday with the trial proper starting the following day. Closing arguments were made Friday morning.

Kelly is the final of five suspects charged in connection with Taylor’s death. The other four suspects charged in connection with the shooting – Tonisha Johnson, Tyjuan Clevon Metcalf, Tyandra Thomas and Kyra McClenton – have all pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Investigators claimed the five suspects attempted to burglarize a nearly three-pound stash of marijuana recovered from Taylor’s residence on Museum Drive, but became involved in an altercation with Taylor and an unnamed individual during the attempt. Taylor was shot in the area of his hip during the attempted robbery. He was carried to North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo for treatment and died from his injuries later that morning.

adam.armour@journalinc.com Twitter: @admarmr

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