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Grand jury to hear case in Mississippi police officer death

A grand jury will hear the case against the suspect in the slaying of a Mississippi officer who was shot outside a police station last month.

Mississippi Gulf Coast news outlets report that Judge Gaston Hewes Jr. said Tuesday there is probable cause to send 19-year-old Darian Atkinson’s case to a grand jury. The Harrison County panel will decide whether to indict him in the death of Officer Robert McKeithen.

Atkinson is jailed on a capital murder charge carrying a possible death sentence. The Sun Herald reports that a detective said the suspect walked 8 miles (13 kilometers) from his mother’s home to the Biloxi police station May 5 with the goal of killing a police officer.

Atkinson has been assigned public defenders. He hasn’t entered a plea.

WLOX reports five people face a Wednesday hearing on accessory-after-the-fact charges.

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