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Two of Four Charged in Abbeville Man’s Murder Will Serve 28 Years in Prison

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

Top Left, Learica Harris; Top Right, Kentarious “KOP” Kirkwood; Bottom Left, Melvin “Scooby” Johnson; Bottom Right, Keontae Harris

Two of the four suspects charged with the murder of Dewayne Willis Jones Sr, 41, of Abbeville last year will serve at least 28 years in prison for their role in the deadly shooting.

Dewayne Jones Sr.
Photo from Serenity Funeral Home

Jones was found dead in his car on College Hill Switch Road on Feb. 28, 2018, by Lafayette County sheriff’s deputies who responded to a report of gunshots in the area of County Road 104. His car was parked in a parking lot across from the His Harvest Ministries Church. He had been shot with a high-powered rifle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three days later, investigators with the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department arrested four people in connection with the shooting that was the result of a robbery.

Melvin “Scooby” Johnson, 25, Kentarious “KOP” Kirkwood, 18, Learica Harris, 24 and Keontae Harris, 20, all of Oxford, were all originally charged with capital murder.

However, last month, the charge was reduced to second-degree murder for Kirkwood and Learica Harris as part of a plea deal.

Kirkwood pleaded guilty on March 29 and was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth to 40 years in prison with 12 years suspended, leaving 28 years to serve and five years of probation.

On April 2, Learica Harris pleaded guilty before Circuit Court Judge John Kelly and received the same sentence as Kirkwood.

Should either violate their probation after their release, they could be sent back to prison to serve the suspended 12 years.

Johnson and Keontae Harris are being held on $2 million bonds and are still awaiting trial. In February, Johnson was indicted on another felony for being in possession of a cell phone while in jail. That charge is still pending.

Jones was the father of three sons and three daughters, all in the Oxford and Abbeville area.


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