He died after he was shot in the face. His killer faces life in prison.

Henry Earl Harvey
Henry Earl Harvey

A Harrison County jury has found Henry Earl Harvey guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Eddie Briggs at Emerald Pines Apartments.

Harvey, 23, faces a life prison term at his Oct. 25 sentencing.

The jury on Thursday believed testimony that Harvey shot Briggs on Jan. 27, 2015, outside the building after the men fought in an upstairs apartment and witnesses separated them, Assistant District Attorney Chris Carter said.

The shooting at the apartment complex off 34th Avenue was reported at 2:41 a.m.

Two police officers found Briggs, 29, on the sidewalk in front of the complex. He was bleeding from gunshot wounds to his face and shoulder.

A witness testifying at the trial in Circuit Court recalled seeing Briggs leaving the apartment with keys in hand and then hearing a gunshot, Carter said. The witness recalled looking out a window and seeing Harvey walking toward Briggs with his arm extended and hearing a second shot fired. The witness denied seeing Harvey fire the shot.

An officer checking the area afterward testified he saw Harvey running away from the complex. A police K-9 team tracked Harvey to woods about three blocks from the complex and took him into custody.

Harvey’s attorney argued he wasn’t guilty because there was no evidence Harvey fired any shots, Carter said.

The jury was instructed to also consider a lesser charge of manslaughter.

“There could be no other verdict for this vicious and brutal killing besides first-degree murder,” ADA Crosby Parker said in closing statements.

District Attorney Joel Smith said in a press release the verdict “provides justice for the family of Eddie Briggs as they cope with the loss of a loved one.

“The senseless taking of another person’s life demands accountability.”

Harvey was convicted of burglarizing a home and of drug possession from charges in 2011, the county jail docket shows.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews