Warrants issued for suspects in fatal shooting at Scarlet Pearl

Scarlet Pearl

Today, January 12, 2023, Chief Shannon Nobles announces the issuance of warrants for 19-year-old Darrius Dewayne Rowser Jr from Mobile, AL, and 18-year-old Karmelo Cortez Morris Derks from Pritchard, AL, on the charge of First-Degree Murder.

Chief Shannon Nobles states that on September 21, 2022, at approximately 01:15 am, officers responded to the North parking lot of the Scarlet Pearl Casino after receiving a call of gunshots.

It was soon discovered that 36-year-old Nicholaus Lavon Craig, from California, was sitting in a silver Dodge Challenger suffering from a gunshot wound. Life-saving measures were attempted, but Craig succumbed to his injury.

Detectives began reviewing surveillance videos from multiple locations. They identified a suspect vehicle and the suspect’s description and distributed it to the public and local media outlets in Mississippi and Alabama.

The suspected vehicle used was identified as a Nissan Altima, which was discovered to have been stolen in Pritchard, AL., on September 14, 2022. The vehicle was located burned at an apartment complex in Pritchard a day after the release.  This led Detectives to focus on leads in the Pritchard, AL., area.

Chief Nobles notes, “Throughout this four-month investigation, the Detective’s hard work, long hours, and pure tenacity to see this investigation to a successful conclusion is nothing but commendable.”

Through multiple interviews and coordination with the Gulfport Field Office of the FBI, Mobile Police Departments Intelligence Unit, and Homicide Unit, Pritchard AL. Police Department, Gulf Coasts Digital Forensics Lab, and the Harrison County District Attorneys Office, Detectives were able to identify defendants Darrius Dewayne Rowser Jr. and Karmelo Cortez Morris Derks as the individuals responsible for the tragic death of Nicholaus Craig.

The assistance of these agencies was invaluable. The motive for this act of violence appears to be random and an apparent robbery attempt.

Both defendants are housed in the Mobile County Metro Jail on unrelated charges. A detainer has been placed on both pending extraditions to Mississippi to answer for the charges. Both warrants were issued with no bond upon being booked into the Harrison County Detention Center set by Harrison County Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain.

If you have any information regarding this incident or any other crime, please contact the D’Iberville Police Department at 228-396-4252 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898 or www.mscoastcrimestoppers.com. Tips to Crime Stoppers are confidential, and callers can remain anonymous.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News