Preliminary hearing for accessory suspects in murder of Officer McKeithen

Following yesterday’s preliminary hearing for capital murder suspect Darian Atkinson, the five suspects accused in aiding him were seen before a judge today at the Harrison County Courthouse for their hearings.

Five suspects faced a judge for the first time after being charged in connection with the murder of Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen. The five suspects were all charged with accessory after the face and were on hand for their preliminary hearings where the prosecution presented their probable cause for a case.

The vibe in the courtroom was somber, a complete difference from the one in the Harrison County Courthouse on Tuesday where capital murder suspect Darian Atkinson laughed and smirked in the courtroom.

Suspects Joshua Kovach and Andre Sullivan each waived their right to a hearing as they’re prepared to go in front of a grand jury, while Dalentez Brice didn’t have an attorney present, pushing his initial hearing to a later date.

Gulfport Police Detective Samuel Jewel testified in the hearings of Davian Atkinson and Wanya Atkinson, citing surveillance footage from their mother’s home that tells the story. According to Jewel, the Atkinson brothers and their co-defendants are on camera watching Darian changing out of his clothes that he was wearing when he allegedly shot McKeithen.

Jewel also shed light on Atkinson’s mother, Pamela Wilson, who allegedly called police to her home to report a disturbance, with the hope of them taking her son. However, the reporting officer didn’t recognize Darian and let him and Davian go.

Davian allegedly proceeded to take Darian to Wiggins and then he went to work. Davian was questioned later that evening by police shortly before Darian was arrested in Wiggins.

Davian and Wanya Atkinson were later arrested and charged with accessory. Davian’s charged with driving his brother to Wiggins and letting him use his phone while Wanya is charged for giving him clothes and withholding information from authorities.

Judge Albert Fountain believes that there is enough evidence to let a grand jury decide whether the brothers will be tried on the charges.

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