The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a man in the 2015 murder of a Mantachie resident.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, justices upheld the conviction of Demarco Kelly for the death of Andre Taylor. Kelly argued that the circuit court erroneously refused his proposed jury instruction regarding his alleged abandonment of the attempted burglary and regarding culpable-negligence manslaughter.

After reviewing the record, the arguments of counsel and the relevant law, the state supreme court justices stated they had determined the circuit court did not err in refusing Kelly’s proposed instructions and affirmed his conviction and sentence.

Kelly was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole for the shooting and killing of Taylor. He was arrested after attempting 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 hip area and died later at North Mississippi Medical Center.

In the May 2019 trial, the jury in the case deliberated roughly two hours before handing down their guilty verdict. Kelly was immediately given his sentence by Judge Paul Funderburk of Mississippi’s First Judicial District and turned over to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

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